When wrestling matches would extend to the third period last season, Bluestem’s Lane Moran could feel the energy drain away.
That’s because he was losing three or four pounds every week just to make weight at 152 pounds.
Entering this season, Moran was tired of feeling tired late in matches and did not enjoy the stress of wondering how everything he ate or drank would affect his weight. So as a junior, Moran is following his normal healthy diet and is happier than he’s ever been.
He’s also wrestling as well as he ever has. Moran’s bulked-up frame has him wrestling in the 170-pound division, where he currently maintains a tidy 18-0 record, including 10 pins, and is ranked No. 3 in Class 3A by the coaches.
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“During football season, me and my dad had the idea of just staying at the weight I was at and working out and conditioning to get stronger,” Moran said. “So far, it’s been working.”
Moran had been a successful wrestler at 152, qualifying for state his first two seasons, but he has yet to come home with a medal. He was projected to be one of the top in that weight class this season, but Moran deemed the stress of losing weight was not worth it.
Not every wrestler can make jumping up two weight classes look as effortless as Moran has, Bluestem coach Kelly Benton points out. Moran has been a success because of hard work, but also because of his technique.
“If you’re an ordinary wrestler and try to do what Lane is doing, then they may not see the same success as him,” Benton said. “Lane is a really sound wrestler with a good work ethic. He has a lot of heart and he puts it into everything he does.”
It didn’t take any convincing with Benton on the weight change, as he prides himself on his program’s conditioning. Even more this season, he has Moran go through live wrestling, weight room circuits, and high-tempo cardio workouts.
Now when third periods arrive, Moran is ready to go.
“Now I am the one that can tell the opponent that I’m wrestling is pulling weight because they’ll be short on breath and I’ll still be feeling pretty good,” Moran said. “I had high expectations for myself, but it is a little surprising. I never expected to be doing this well at this point in the season.”
Moran has established himself as one of the top wrestlers in a new class. It’s caused him to rearrange his goals halfway through the season. Now just qualifying for state doesn’t seem like enough.
Benton said he wouldn’t be surprised if Moran ends up in the 3A final at 170. Moran wouldn’t go that far, but he would say that he wants to live up to his ranking.
Bluestem will compete in the Trojan duals at Stafford on Thursday, and will be in action this Friday and Saturday at the Halstead tournament.
“Anytime you see your name in the rankings, no matter where you are, it lets you know that there are other people in the state that have some confidence in you,” Benton said. “I think seeing that, it’s pushed him even harder because he wants to prove them right. And so far, he’s done just that.”
State’s best in Newton — The tournament to be at this weekend will be in Newton, where the Railers will host 15 state-ranked teams and 27 total on Friday, starting at 11 a.m., and Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.
Just some of the programs that will be in attendance are Norton (No. 1 in 3A), Garden City (No. 2 in 6A), Derby (No. 3 in 6A), Arkansas City (No. 3 in 5A), Manhattan (No. 5 in 6A), Mill Valley (No. 5 in 5A), and Holton (No. 5 in 4A) are among the teams scheduled to compete.