Most of the question-and-answer sessions last roughly seven minutes. Hence the name. Iowa's Sam Brooks claimed a Big Ten title and earned All-America honors for the first time last season when he placed eighth at 184 pounds. He takes a 74-20 career record into his senior season with the Hawkeyes.
Trackwrestling's Andy Hamilton recently caught up with Brooks.
I think things are starting to go in the right direction. I think folkstyle should get a push-out rule. I mean, why not, right? It has obviously shown success in freestyle and I think it’s almost silly not to have it, especially with guys playing the edge. There’s really not much I would change. Be more consistent with referees and rules and that’ll help. One style. Maybe freestyle and Greco. It’s hard for fans to keep up with three different styles and the way the rules change every year. Pretty much just more consistency and reward people for trying to score instead of the wrestler who’s more strategic.
The warmup and weight cut are usually the same for me. It’s a couple pounds just to get myself moving, explosive, get that good blow so my lungs are ready when it’s time to wrestle. Food, I keep it pretty light — a bowl of cereal, some fruit, maybe a granola bar. Those one-hour weigh-ins are pretty quick turnarounds, so if I’m too full, I’m going to feel it out there. I think there’s something to be said for almost being a little hungry. The wolf hunts when he’s hungry. That’s kind of how I think about it. I’d rather be hungry going into a match. Full is where I feel fat.
If I listen to something, I like anything with a good beat. I don’t really need the words. I don’t know if you’d call it techo. Anything that’s not country music, really, will get me pumped up.
At that point, there’s not much going through my head. By that time you’re so focused and in the zone it’s almost out of body.
That’s a good question. They don’t have to yell anything. Just looking over at them is enough. They’ll usually just yell ‘Brooks’ to get my attention, but there’s no one thing.
It might have been a match or practice — I don’t know why I remember this or how it happened — but I had Mariachi music stuck in my head. … That’s the one I can remember that was kind of weird. Why the heck was I thinking about Mariachi music and how did that get stuck in my head?
I don’t know it I would just because the matches you don’t have good matches, you learn from them. I don’t think I would (want to go back).
Every couple weeks I brew eight gallons of Kombucha, it’s a fermented tea. I brew and bottle a bunch of it every couple weeks and try different flavors and stuff like that. Dan Dennis taught me how to do it. I’ve been drinking it since high school and I’ve always wanted to brew it and Dennis used to do it. He sort of helped me get started last year. I’ve been doing it for about a year now.
Have you ever seen the movie ‘The Replacements?’ You know how (the character Shane Falco played by Keanu Reeves) talks about quicksand? That kind of always stuck with me.
This year on the way home from Universities, we took a charter bus and we had a bunch of guys out there, probably 20 or so. We set up an entire ladder and rankings for arm wrestling. We had everybody in on it. The bus was shaking. Everybody was getting into it. It was pretty intense. Alex Meyer had just won University Nationals and he lost to everybody, including his younger brother. That was the highlight of the whole thing.