Washington Evening Journal

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Prep wrestling

Pohren is ‘coming into his own’

Washington’s 120-pounder is currently 12-1 this season
By Travis J. Brown, Journal Sports Editor | Jan 03, 2013
Photo by: Travis J. Brown Washington junior Tristan Pohren tries to turn Keokuk’s Austin Hughes during a Southeast Conference dual meet on Dec. 13. “He can turn anybody,” said teammate Fletcher Green.

Washington 120-pounder Tristan Pohren has been anxiously waiting for the holiday break to end.

When the undefeated Demons travel to Fort Madison tonight for a key Southeast Conference dual meet, Pohren will have a chance to avenge his lone loss of the season. Pohren suffered a 5-3 loss to Fort Madison’s Chase Seaney, who is ranked ninth in Class 3A, in the finals of the Mediapolis tournament on Dec. 8.

“That’s my first match back, and I’ve just been training hard to get my revenge and beat him,” Pohren said.

The loss to Seaney is the lone blemish of Pohren’s season so far. At 12-1 this season, Pohren is off to the best start of his career.

“He’s kind of coming into his own this year,” Washington head coach Brent Van Weelden said.

He sure is. Besides the loss to Seaney, Pohren has been dominant. He’s outscored his opponents 77-13 this season while winning seven matches by fall, one by technical fall and two by major decision.

“He’s very hard to score on,” said Washington 113-pounder Fletcher Green, who wrestles against Pohren every day in practice. “He takes advantage of every little opportunity.”

But Pohren hasn’t always been this dominant. His freshman year, stuck behind several other 103-pounders, he wrestled just five varsity matches and went 2-3 — although he went 20-0 in junior varsity bouts. He got his first real chance to wrestle varsity last season as a sophomore and went 34-13 and was a sectional champion at 113 pounds. However, he finished third at districts and just missed a chance to go to state.

But he worked hard in the offseason to improve his technique, and it’s paid off so far this season.

“I think he’s more confident than he’s been in the past,” Van Weelden said. “He did a lot of work in the offseason. He went to camps with us and went to some camps on his own, which obviously paid big dividends.”

Pohren worked hard in the offseason to shore up the glaring weakness in his technique — he’d never been a good wrestler on his feet.

“I used to like to go on top because I felt better on top than on my feet, but I feel comfortable on my feet now,” Pohren said.

The improvement Pohren has made since his freshman season is remarkable.

“It’s ridiculous. He’s gotten so much better,” Green said. “I’m not trying to sound cocky or anything, but freshman year it wasn’t even close between him and me. Now we’re beating each other up every day head to head. He’s gotten so much better. It’s great to have a partner like him. I basically wrestle somebody better in practice than I’m ever going to wrestle in a meet.”

Wrestling against Green, a two-time state qualifier who is currently ranked sixth in Class 2A at 113 pounds, has helped mold Pohren into the wrestler he is today.

“Fletcher is the reason I’m wrestling better than I was,” Pohren said. “He pushes me every day. He’s a great wrestler.”

As iron sharpens iron, so Pohren and Green make each other better. Green, like Pohren, is also 12-1 this season.

“Usually what you see in a room is if you have a good 120-pounder, you probably have a good 113- or 126-pounder as well. They kind of go hand in hand,” Van Weelden said. “They’ve been workout partners their whole lives.”

Pohren, the son of Tom Pohren and Erin Brown, began wrestling in kindergarten. And now, having the best season of his career, he has some big goals.

“I want to make it to state, win a match at state, and try to place,” he said.

But before Pohren can take his place on the medal stand inside Wells Fargo Arena, he’ll try to get his revenge against Fort Madison’s Seaney tonight.

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