This time of year is the toughest for members of the Hastings College wrestling team.
The preseason workouts, cutting weight and conditioning aren’t designed to be fun. A listen to what’s going on in the training room located on the upper deck of the Kiewit Gymnasium gives an indication of just how tough wrestling can get.
“You’re in there beating up your best friend, being put into walls and thrown into stereos,” said head coach Shawn Kelley, who squad kicks off its season this weekend. “The art department is probably wondering what we’re doing over there sometimes.”
But, the toughest part of this preseason may have nothing to do with training.
The team lost one of its own back on Sept. 22. Fifth-year senior Brad Cusatis and his mother were working on the corn harvest when their car was hit by in the driveway to a cornfield, killing both. Cusatis was primed for a run at the national title this season in the 157-pound weight class, according to Kelley. The coach said Cusatis was one of the hardest workers he’s met.