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EXTENDED SPRING BREAK: Crown Point’s Jesse Mendez sees an opportunity

EXTENDED SPRING BREAK: Crown Point’s Jesse Mendez sees an opportunity


Crown Point sophomore Jesse Mendez is a two-time state champion wrestler. He’s also a FloNationals title holder and three-time Pan American Games gold medalist. The Indiana State Wrestling Association canceled all events up to and including folkstyle state. On April 20, USA Wrestling announced it would be postponing all regional and national events through July 1, with only junior nationals July 17 in Fargo, North Dakota remaining. The National High School Coaches Association Duals in Virginia Beach, Virginia scheduled for May 23-25, were also canceled.

Mendez, as told to David P. Funk:

Some days I wake up early to get all my schoolwork done and hang out with my family for a little bit. I’m trying to stay in shape, working on everything. Some days I wake up real early to go work almost the whole day.

I do landscaping. One of my buddies got me in it and I’ve been trying to help out. We usually go mow a couple yards, but it depends on the job. Next Wednesday, we’re moving 30 tons of rocks and laying them out. It’s a lot of manually-intensive labor.

My workouts usually start with me running two miles at around an 11:45 pace. Then, I’ll come back home and do a little circuit workout with push-ups, squats, sit-ups and dips. This is just body workout stuff.

Then, I’ll do a little bit of stance and motion for wrestling. I’m trying to keep my shots good, my feet moving.

If I workout with weights I’m usually doing Olympic lifts, so clean, snatch, back squat, bench press, things like that. We’ve got a pretty good set up here.

I think I might be getting ahead of people. A lot of people are probably sitting around, not really doing anything while I’m working. I kind of looked at all this as an opportunity to get in front of the game.

For school, I hop on my computer. My teachers are either putting out notes or by video and I do my homework through that.

I’m always staying in contact with my teammates and my coaches.

I’ve probably missed about five tournaments so far, definitely some big tournaments. It’s some of the ones I’ve been working for the whole year. It sucks but it is what it is.

FloNationals in June is a really big one. I hope that one stays. I think there’s going to be tournaments that come out of nowhere because kids are just trying to wrestle. People just want to get on the mat right now.

I think I made a real good name for myself last summer. There’s nobody wrestling right now, so if the colleges want me they’ll call me when I’m able to be called. Since I’m a sophomore, I can’t talk to colleges until June 15.

I know God’s got a bigger picture for me. I’m just going to keep working hard for next season and next summer. This is my last year at the cadet level. Next year I move up to juniors, so hopefully I can keep up the success at the next age level.

Gallery: The Times Athletes of the Week


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