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Seven Minutes with Jared Haught

By Andy Hamilton, TrackWrestling, 09/29/16, 1:15PM CDT


This is the 13th installment of seven minutes. It's a series of interviews with college wrestling's top stars.

Most of the question-and-answer sessions last roughly seven minutes. Hence the name. Virginia Tech's Jared Haught earned All-America honors for the first time last season when he placed sixth at 197 pounds at the NCAA Championships. He takes an 33-25 career record into his junior season with the Hokies. 
Trackwrestling's Andy Hamilton recently caught up with Haught. 

Let’s say wrestling has one governing body and you’re the president, what would you want to change?

I’m kind of going off what (teammate) Ty (Walz) said. If I could change one thing, it’d be (the) shaving (rule). I don’t mind the headgear, but I would definitely like to rock a beard if I could grow one. My brother has a pretty nice beard, so I’d like to follow in his footsteps in that category.

Take me through your pre-match preparation: What’s the typical size of a last-minute weight cut for you? What do you put in your body after you step on the scale? What do you have pumping through your headphones during your warm-up?

Normally, about an hour before weigh-ins I’m roughly 1.6 pounds over. I’ll warm up with Ty. That probably takes about 30 minutes or so. We get a good warmup. (Mike) Zadick runs us through it. We just drill and get a good cardio (workout) there with a few sprints. Then pre-match, I don’t have any certain things I do. I guess I just get warmed up. I never really listen to music, but when I do, I listen to some country. Pretty simple.

Normally, my go-to (food after weigh-ins) is just a blueberry bagel with lunch meat and cream cheese. It’s kind of weird, but after you’ve cut some weight everything tastes good.

What’s the last thing you tell yourself before you set your foot on the line?

I just say, ‘Let’s go. It’s go time.’ I kind of repeat it to myself so I’m ready when I step out there.

What’s one thing your coach yells that you can hear every time?

Attack and move your hands and move your feet.

What’s the strangest thing that’s ever gone through your mind during a match?

I was probably 12 years old or and I missed weight for a tournament. I had traveled pretty far, so my dad moved me up and I was in the unlimited category. I had to wrestle a really big girl. I was hoping I didn’t lose that match because I would’ve been really embarrassed. I won the match. I may have even pinned her. She was so much bigger than me.

If you could go back and re-wrestle any match, which would it be and why?

If I could re-wrestle any match, it would be the one with Kyle Snyder here at Tech. I wrestled all right and everything, but I was close and I couldn’t get off bottom. And why? Just because he’s the best right now at his weight in freestyle and it would be really cool to say I beat him.

What’s the most interesting about you that has nothing to do with wrestling?

I’m from West Virginia and when I was a kid, my favorite thing to do when I got home was go out and play with my chickens. They’re my favorite animal and I had a bunch of them. I got into the game breeds, which are like fighting chickens. I thought it was really cool. They’re pretty birds.

What’s your greatest fear?

It’s kind of weird, but my greatest fear is screwing in a light bulb or unscrewing one. I’m afraid it’s going to blow up in my hand or crack. I hate changing light bulbs and I’m always stuck doing it because I’m taller.

We’re trying something different with the last part of the series. We’re giving every wrestler the opportunity to ask a question to the next guy we interview. Wisconsin’s Isaac Jordan asks: If you could challenge an athlete from another sport to a wrestling match, who would you challenge and why?

Originally, I was thinking Michael Jordan because I thought it would be cool to wrestle Michael Jordan, but he’s pretty old now. I’m going to stick with basketball and say LeBron James. He’s been winning a lot of titles. I’d like to beat him.

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