By Andrew Lichtenauer
Austin Miller ’15 has been a force to be reckoned with for the men’s wrestling team this season. The rookie has the most wins of any Bison wrestler (16-10), going 10-6 in duals and 3-0 in the EIWA duals.
Of his 16 wins so far this season, Miller’s most notable has to be his upset against Princeton’s Garrett Frey. Frey was ranked No. 20 in his weight class at the time, and Miller’s victory marked his first-ever win against a ranked opponent. Miller’s win contributed significantly to the Bison’s victory over Princeton, as it kick-started the rest of the team and eventually led the Orange and Blue to a 27-9 victory.
There is no doubting Miller’s commitment to the sport of wrestling and his will to win. Men’s wrestling head coach Dan Wirnsberger attests to Miller’s dedication. “Austin is very committed to the preparation process which translates into success in the competition arena … He is a tireless worker, gritty competitor and he has excellent endurance,” Wirnsberger said. “He understands the importance of preparation and how it leads to success on and off the mat.”
According to Miller, putting faith and trust in his coaches has helped him improve significantly as a wrestler in a short period of time, while maintaining faith in himself and his abilities has gotten him through some of the tougher opponents he faced this season.
“I believe in my ability to win every single time I step onto the mat, even though I don’t always succeed. That has helped me more than anything. Wanting to win and believing that you will win are two completely different things,” Miller said.
Despite his success, Miller has certainly not reached his full potential as a young wrestler. His relentless attitude is indicative of any great competitor, and his drive to improve is certainly a big reason why Miller has won so many matches.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Miller still sees room for improvement. “I really would like to get a little bigger and stronger for EIWAs over our three-week break between regular and post-season,” he said. “Also, I need to be able to escape on anyone automatically so I need to work on my bottom technique. I will try to improve on some things on my feet, like creating angles and moving my opponents.”
If Miller continues to believe in himself and his abilities, he will likely add more W’s to his win column before the end of the season. Needless to say, Bison fans should keep an eye out for Austin Miller to see if he can improve on his already impressive rookie season.
Miller and the rest of the men’s wrestling team will return to the mats on Sunday when they host EIWA rival American in Davis Gym at 12 p.m.