The Pitt wrestling team currently ranks 17th in
the country heading into the home stretch of its season. One of the main
reasons for the Panthers' success this season has been the performance of their
upper-weight wrestlers including senior Zac Thomusseit. Recently, the seventh-ranked heavyweight and three-time EWL Wrestler of the Week sat down with Pitt
Can you talk about your season so far?
Thomusseit: "It's going well for my first year as a
heavyweight. I've had two losses. I didn't really want to lose two during the
season but I think that those are going to help me going down the line. I'm
still kind of upset about my loss at Oklahoma State. I think that's a guy that
I could see at Nationals, maybe in the quarters but the losses have given me
more motivation. I've started to watch more film, which I normally don't do and
have been starting to crack down on some little things that I learn from the
film. Like I said, the losses give me more motivation. I've got two more months
of this and then I'm done so I've just got to suck it up and train as hard as I
How excited are you for Nationals?
Thomussiet: "I'm excited. I've been thinking about it
the whole year. I'm just trying to go out there and compete. I just want to
approach the National Tournament with the attitude that I've got to lay it all
on the line because I want to leave as an All-American. I can't be hesitant
there. I want to be an All-American so I've got to go out attacking and make it
my best tournament yet."
Talk about your leadership role on the team.
Thomusseit: "I'm more of a quiet person so coming
through the program I learned from the older guys to lead by example and that's
what I've wanted to do. I just want to show the younger guys to get it done in
Division I you have to lead by example with hard work."
You mentioned some of the older guys who
helped you when you were an underclassman. Can you talk about them?
Thomusseit: "Right before I came in, (current
assistant coach Matt) Kocher was here and he was an All-American. Keith Gavin
was the National Champ. I didn't get to wrestle with them but I came in on my
recruiting process and got to see them and the work they put in. Being around
those guys and guys like that really helps. Guys like Zach Sheaffer as a
heavyweight when I was a freshman and Tyler Nauman last year just sets the bar
to strive to be an All-American. I think they have that presence and are able
to teach you what they did, some of the little things that they did that helped
them get on the podium, and that can really help."