Setting the Standard; Senior Wrestler Jared Lawrence

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!
There are ten seconds left in the third period, and you're up by one. No large achievement considering you had been up by seven this side of two minutes ago. But this late in the wrestling match, all you feel is weakness, pain and complete exhaustion. When you signed up to wrestle at the Division I level, you knew fully well that every match would be a battle of sheer will and endurance. But as you are forced into a takedown in the waning seconds of the match, all the strength sapped from your once-reliable muscles, you realize your fatal flaw: you never prepared for Jared Lawrence.

Senior 149-pounder Jared Lawrence is the picture of hard work and dedication for the Minnesota wrestling team. As a freshman, the first year he reached NCAA semi-finals, Lawrence wrestled top-ranked juniors and seniors on his way to becoming an All-American. Knowing that grappling with these experienced wrestlers would be an uphill battle, Lawrence set out with one objective: to wrestle as hard as he could to ensure that they would always remember him.

"If your opponent is a better wrestler, that doesn't necessarily matter. You still have hope," Lawrence said. "All his technique, training and talent is worthless now if he's tired. I was able to score 8 or 10 points in the third period when I was younger because no one expected me to tire them out like that."

The legend goes in the wrestling office that early in Lawrence's collegiate career, he was facing an opponent that had been far ahead of him in the first two periods, but tired in the third due to Lawrence's hard-nosed endurance. Lawrence garnered a rapid-fire succession of takedown points until his opponent, from an underneath position, actually pinned his legs around Lawrence to prevent himself from escaping and being taken down again.

Jared's older brother Brett, a 2001 All-American at Minnesota and the program's coordinator of marketing and promotions, credits Jared's success all the way to his 2002 NCAA national championship to his willingness to wrestle as hard as his body will allow him.

"We call him the Energizer Bunny. He tries to wrestle really hard to get his opponents tired. It's the same thing at practice for him-he knows that if you want to compete that way, you've got to practice that way," Brett said. "That kind of philosophy never fails. If you follow it, there is nothing that can come back to bite you."

This pure execution of the dogma the Minnesota wrestling program strives to achieve combined with the claim to the most prestigious collegiate athletic award-an NCAA championship-make Lawrence the standard to which his coaches expect the whole team to perform. Along with fellow NCAA champ Luke Becker, he has been an All-American since he was a freshman and is looking to become one again this year, a feat only Chad Kraft has achieved in Minnesota, from 1995-1999. According to Assistant Coach Joe Russell, Jared began his career by emulating both Kraft's and former NCAA champion Tim Hartung's styles to develop himself into the type of wrestlers they were. Now, Russell says, Lawrence has assumed the responsibility of being an example for his younger teammates just like his role models before him.

"He has modeled himself after some of the great wrestlers we've had in the program. Now he's trying to get new guys to do what he's done," Russell said. "When practice is done and all the other guys have packed their bags and left, Jared stays behind and keeps working with anyone who wants his help. He places a lot of importance on the future of the team."

Lawrence says that his success in the Minnesota program can be traced back to the days when he and Becker would work out and practice for hours at a time, with very few days of rest and only two or three weeks of off-season per year. Sounds insane? It's the standard in the collegiate wrestling world, Lawrence says, and that's what you have to commit to in order to be successful.

"When you're young, you're four to five years behind the older guys at the college level," Lawrence said. "You can't sit around and do the bare minimum, you have to get it done. And the ethic you learn transfers to a lot of things in life. For a lot of us, our whole lives have been hard work. How I wrestle is just part of who I am."

This definition of identity began when Lawrence was fresh out of kindergarten and he and Brett (older by two years) donned singlets for the very first time. According to Brett, the simple reason behind their entry into the wrestling world was because their dad wanted them to have some other way to expend their energy rather than tearing around the house, throwing balls and breaking glass.

As it turned out for the Lawrence boys, they both had natural talent but were not sculpted into formidable grapplers until high school in Sandpoint, Idaho. Their coach, who Brett said was a highly inspiring and motivating coach, would run two practices per day and run up to 120 gym sprints before major competitions. The Minnesota philosophy was branded into their minds, being parallel with the Maroon and Gold creed of solid hard work. This, combined with the brothers' experience at Head Coach J Robinson's youth wrestling camps, led first Brett and then Jared to sign national letters of intent with the Golden Gophers.

As it turns out, it was a perfect fit for Lawrence-not only did his training program stay consistent in hard-work style, but his coaching, talent and rock-hard determination led him to what the previous 14 years had been in preparation for-the coveted NCAA individual championship.

"I don't think I could ever describe the feeling, but the closest thing is awe. Standing up there after I won, realizing the greatest part isn't necessarily being at the top but rather the climb up was so overwhelming," Lawrence said. "I couldn't stop thinking that everything I had done to prepare for this moment actually worked. It was the happiest moment of my life so far."

Written by Media Relations Student Assistant Kimberly Jackson There are ten seconds left in the third period, and you're up by one. No large achievement considering you had been up by seven this side of two minutes ago. But this late in the wrestling match, all you feel is weakness, pain and complete exhaustion. When you signed up to wrestle at the Division I level, you knew fully well that every match would be a battle of sheer will and endurance. But as you are forced into a takedown in the waning seconds of the match, all the strength sapped from your once-reliable muscles, you realize your fatal flaw: you never prepared for Jared Lawrence.

Senior 149-pounder Jared Lawrence is the picture of hard work and dedication for the Minnesota wrestling team. As a freshman, the first year he reached NCAA semi-finals, Lawrence wrestled top-ranked juniors and seniors on his way to becoming an All-American. Knowing that grappling with these experienced wrestlers would be an uphill battle, Lawrence set out with one objective: to wrestle as hard as he could to ensure that they would always remember him.

"If your opponent is a better wrestler, that doesn't necessarily matter. You still have hope," Lawrence said. "All his technique, training and talent is worthless now if he's tired. I was able to score 8 or 10 points in the third period when I was younger because no one expected me to tire them out like that."

The legend goes in the wrestling office that early in Lawrence's collegiate career, he was facing an opponent that had been far ahead of him in the first two periods, but tired in the third due to Lawrence's hard-nosed endurance. Lawrence garnered a rapid-fire succession of takedown points until his opponent, from an underneath position, actually pinned his legs around Lawrence to prevent himself from escaping and being taken down again.

Jared's older brother Brett, a 2001 All-American at Minnesota and the program's coordinator of marketing and promotions, credits Jared's success all the way to his 2002 NCAA national championship to his willingness to wrestle as hard as his body will allow him.

"We call him the Energizer Bunny. He tries to wrestle really hard to get his opponents tired. It's the same thing at practice for him-he knows that if you want to compete that way, you've got to practice that way," Brett said. "That kind of philosophy never fails. If you follow it, there is nothing that can come back to bite you."

This pure execution of the dogma the Minnesota wrestling program strives to achieve combined with the claim to the most prestigious collegiate athletic award-an NCAA championship-make Lawrence the standard to which his coaches expect the whole team to perform. Along with fellow NCAA champ Luke Becker, he has been an All-American since he was a freshman and is looking to become one again this year, a feat only Chad Kraft has achieved in Minnesota, from 1995-1999. According to Assistant Coach Joe Russell, Jared began his career by emulating both Kraft's and former NCAA champion Tim Hartung's styles to develop himself into the type of wrestlers they were. Now, Russell says, Lawrence has assumed the responsibility of being an example for his younger teammates just like his role models before him.

"He has modeled himself after some of the great wrestlers we've had in the program. Now he's trying to get new guys to do what he's done," Russell said. "When practice is done and all the other guys have packed their bags and left, Jared stays behind and keeps working with anyone who wants his help. He places a lot of importance on the future of the team."

Lawrence says that his success in the Minnesota program can be traced back to the days when he and Becker would work out and practice for hours at a time, with very few days of rest and only two or three weeks of off-season per year. Sounds insane? It's the standard in the collegiate wrestling world, Lawrence says, and that's what you have to commit to in order to be successful.

"When you're young, you're four to five years behind the older guys at the college level," Lawrence said. "You can't sit around and do the bare minimum, you have to get it done. And the ethic you learn transfers to a lot of things in life. For a lot of us, our whole lives have been hard work. How I wrestle is just part of who I am."

This definition of identity began when Lawrence was fresh out of kindergarten and he and Brett (older by two years) donned singlets for the very first time. According to Brett, the simple reason behind their entry into the wrestling world was because their dad wanted them to have some other way to expend their energy rather than tearing around the house, throwing balls and breaking glass.

As it turned out for the Lawrence boys, they both had natural talent but were not sculpted into formidable grapplers until high school in Sandpoint, Idaho. Their coach, who Brett said was a highly inspiring and motivating coach, would run two practices per day and run up to 120 gym sprints before major competitions. The Minnesota philosophy was branded into their minds, being parallel with the Maroon and Gold creed of solid hard work. This, combined with the brothers' experience at Head Coach J Robinson's youth wrestling camps, led first Brett and then Jared to sign national letters of intent with the Golden Gophers.

As it turns out, it was a perfect fit for Lawrence-not only did his training program stay consistent in hard-work style, but his coaching, talent and rock-hard determination led him to what the previous 14 years had been in preparation for-the coveted NCAA individual championship.

"I don't think I could ever describe the feeling, but the closest thing is awe. Standing up there after I won, realizing the greatest part isn't necessarily being at the top but rather the climb up was so overwhelming," Lawrence said. "I couldn't stop thinking that everything I had done to prepare for this moment actually worked. It was the happiest moment of my life so far."

Written by Media Relations Student Assistant Kimberly Jackson

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