Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 28, 2014
State Wrestling Tournament Preview

Washington's Pohren confident heading into the state tournament

By Travis J. Brown, Journal Sports Editor | Feb 13, 2013
Photo by: Travis J. Brown Washington 120-pounder Tristan Pohren works to free himself from the grasp of Mediapolis freshman Shea Swafford at the sectional tournament on Feb. 2.

Toward the end of the wrestling season, Washington junior Tristan Pohren’s confidence waned and he lost a few matches.

“Tristan wrestled pretty tough at the beginning of the year,” Washington head coach Brent Van Weelden said. “I’m not sure what happened, but he kind of hit a lull there.”

But Van Weelden gave his 120-pounder a pep talk before last Saturday’s Class 2A district tournament, and it seemed to help. Pohren hit a pair of reversals in his 4-2 win over Davenport Assumption freshman Jacob Fenske in the semifinals, and he went on to finish runner-up to earn his first trip to the state wrestling tournament in Des Moines.

“He just told me to be confident and that if I think I can go take somebody down, I’ll be able to do it,” said Pohren, who takes a 32-6 record to state this weekend. “Not to be down about it and just stay positive.”

Pohren will take on seventh-ranked Caleb Coleman (36-2) of Bondurant-Farrar in his first-round match at Wells Fargo Arena on Thursday evening. Van Weelden said that Pohren and Coleman have very similar styles.

“I think it might be like looking in a mirror when they step out there,” Van Weelden said. “I think they’re going to be pretty similar in style and what they do, so it’s probably going to be a pretty even match I would assume. It’s probably going to be who can take advantage of the scoring situations the best.”

Pohren calls his style of wrestling “funky,” noting that he isn’t as offensive-minded as some wrestlers. And Coleman wrestles the same way.

“It will be a match of funky styles going at it,” he said. “It should be interesting.”

Pohren, the son of Tom Pohren and Erin Brown, is at his best when he’s on top, but he has improved on his feet and on the bottom.

“He may be the most improved wrestler we have,” Van Weelden said. “I think he’s just better in all aspects of the game rather than being one-dimensional in the past where he was pretty decent on top but struggled in the other two positions. When he’s mentally there and controls the things that he can control, he’s spot on. He’s pretty tough to beat.”

And now he knows it.

“Coach just told me to stay positive,” Pohren said. “That was about it.”

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