The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Meredith at NCAAs: There’s no place like Wyoming
Bryce Meredith placed second and fourth, respectively, the past two NCAAs as a No. 14 and 10 seed for Wyoming. But as a senior, the Cowboy is seeded No. 1 at 141 pounds.
“It’s pretty humbling to know I can be up here and kind of speak with these guys at a press conference like this,” said Meredith, who earned the top seed primarily before he won two matches this season against Oklahoma State’s two-time defending national champion Dean Heil.
“Obviously it puts you in a little bit better bracket; if there’s a good place at the NCAA Tournament,” Meredith said. “We all know it’s madness here. That’s why we love this sport and that’s why we love this tournament so much.”
And Meredith, who grew up in Cheyenne, Wyom., understands the importance of becoming just the second from this western school — the other was Dick Ballinger in 1960 — to win an NCAA championship.
But the senior said it wasn’t until he left Wyoming to wrestle one year at NC State (before returning in 2015) that he realized how much pride he has wrestling the only four-year school in his native state.
“Coming out of Wyoming, I think it just made me more tough because I had to travel a lot more,” said Meredith, who earned four Wyoming state titles and four NHSCA All-American honors while competing at Central High School.
“I had to really reach out to the best kids in the country, trying to get any type of partner, any type of coaching and all that kind of stuff. And ultimately I think it just made me a mentally tougher man in the long run.
“When I left (Wyoming), I didn’t realize how special that place really was. When you are doing well in your sport there, you’re kind of like a superstar. And it’s a lot of fun to be that get the recognition that maybe you don’t deserve, but we get it and it’s fun.
“Ultimately it was the greatest thing I could have done was come back to it because it put me in a place of happiness and brought me around my family and my friends. And I wasn’t worrying about other things then. I was just worrying about enjoying life and becoming a better wrestler.”