CEDAR RAPIDS — The Xavier wrestling teams knows state is not a far-fetched dream.
Even though the Saints lost sophomore — and returning state qualifier — Ivan Thomas for most, if not all, of the season to injury, they gained freshman Christian Stanek, who knows the taste of victory.
Stanek won state for club last year, and has participated on a team that won the national team tournament.
“My big goals are to qualify for state and to place,” Stanek said.
It will be a long road to get there.
“I’m preparing for meets by practicing every day and working to improve myself and the team every practice,” Stanek said.
Constructive criticism from coaches and teammates is necessary for the team to do well. JP Segura, a senior exchange student from Mexico, believes it makes all the difference.
“Your teammates’ support and help during practice is what makes you better,” Segura said.
Stanek also believes support from teammates is key for the team to succeed.
“My teammates push me to get better,” he said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
Coach Ryan Chambers is credited with good communication skills.
“My coaches are great,” Stanek said. “They tell me what I need to work on, and get me better prepared. They are great to be around.”
The Saints are at Western Dubuque on Thursday for their final dual before Christmas break.