This is the 42nd 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.
South Dakota State junior Seth Gross is ranked No. 1 nationally at 133 pounds after a NCAA runner-up finish last season.
Let’s say wrestling has one governing body and you’re the president, what would you want to change?
I’d make college style freestyle. I think that would help us develop guys better and get us ready for the Olympics and international wrestling.
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?
Before weigh-ins, I like to get that real good, hard drill in and maybe a couple hard sprints at the end and really get that heart rate going and get your lungs burned out. Then once I’m down to weight, I go weigh in and right after weigh-ins I like get hydrated as fast as I can. I like to get Gatorade and water in my system and try to get lots of calories — a bagel sandwich, granola bar, stuff like that to get calories quick. Then I’ll relax for a little bit and usually about 20 minutes before I’m going to go out there I’ll get on the mat and get some shadow wrestling in and do some sprints, get my heart rate up again and then relax until it’s time to go.
I don’t really listen to too much music before I wrestle. I like to get focused. I like to hear the environment around me.
What’s the last thing you tell yourself before you set your foot on the line?
Just have fun, let it fly and score points.
What’s one thing your coach yells that you can hear every time?
I kind of block everything out when I go out there. It’s hard for me to hear anything. I know right before I go out there (coach Chris Bono) tells me to have fun.
If you could go back and re-wrestle any match, which would it be and why?
I’d probably say the NCAA finals match from last year if I could go back just because I know I didn’t wrestle the best I could in that match. There’s a lot of things I could’ve improved and there’s no reason I couldn’t have won that match. I had the momentum going, I was wrestling well all weekend and didn’t wrestle how I should’ve in that match. If I could choose one match, that would be the one, but I don’t know that I’d necessarily take that chance because I think it helped me grow as a wrestler and be where I am now.
Who’s one guy you’ve wrestled in college that you enjoy scrapping against and why?
Kaid Brock is a fun one. It’s always a good match. Mitch McKee, who I just wrestled, is a fun one. Both of those guys are guys who let it loose and let it fly. It’s always fun getting out there and wrestling guys who let it all go and are always attacking.
What’s the most interesting about you that has nothing to do with wrestling?
Wrestling is most of my life. I’d say I’m pretty big into my faith. I spend a lot of time doing things that have to do with my faith. After I’m done with college wrestling, I want to travel places and do mission trips. I guess my faith is the other important thing in my life that makes me interesting.
What’s your greatest fear?
I guess just not reaching my full potential and not working hard enough and maybe just working as hard as I can and falling short of what I want to achieve.
If you could go back in time and wrestle anybody from any era, who would you want to wrestle and why?
I’d want to go back and wrestle Bono just because he thinks he could beat me in his prime and I don’t think he could. I’d want to go back and wrestle him and see who the man really is.