The Sandy High graduate finishes third at wrestling nationals in Fargo, ND
Sandy wrestling standout Kyle Bateman had one last stop to make before moving on to compete at Clackamas Community College – the Junior National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota. Just as he did during his high school career, Bateman excelled against the best of the best.
The 170-pounder took home third place in the Greco-Roman wrestling bracket as he went 8-1 in the tournament.
Bateman attributed his impressive finish to his prior experience on the big stage. He competed in the same competition as a sophomore and a junior, so he knew what to expect and faced no big surprises.
There are a lot of guys there who are good, so its easy to get nervous, Bateman said. Having been there before really helped a lot. I wasnt nearly as nervous this time.
Batemans trek to third place was less than arduous, considering the high-caliber competition. In all eight of his victories, Bateman won by fall or technical fall. His sole defeat was dealt by Jared Johnson from Kansas. Johnson went on to take second overall.
The win that propelled Bateman into the third-place match came against Jacob Morrissey from Wisconsin. Bateman only needed 41 seconds to pin Morrissey, who took sixth in the tournament.
In the third-place match, Bateman faced a stout competitor in Minnesotas Jordon Rothers. Rothers took Bateman to the third round, but the former Sandy Pioneer won by fall 46 seconds into the final round.
Batemans finish at nationals came five months after he won the OSAA 5A state championship in the 170-pound weight division. He said the preparation for nationals was tougher and required added mental composure.
You arent as familiar with everybody, so you have to do a big, basic training to get ready, Bateman said. Its takes a lot more focus and training leading up to it, especially when the competition is so good.
With nationals and high school wrestling now in the rearview mirror, Bateman turns his attention his stiffest challenge to date – collegiate wrestling. He knows when he takes to the mat sporting his Clackamas singlet, the level of talent and skill will be beyond what he has seen to this point in his career.
Ive wrestled with them a little bit and you can tell there is a striking difference, Bateman said. I know I have to beef up and get stronger. Ive got to hit the weights more and I am going to go in and wrestle them more during the summer to get ready.
Bateman hopes to eventually compete at a four-year school, but right now he is focused on contributing at Clackamas immediately. He is anxious to prove his worth in this next step, and his history suggests he will do just that.