There has been a lot of excitement over this year’s Fargo Greco Nationals, but one name that has been missing from the festivities is Alston Nutter. The Wisconsin-born Nutter took second at last year’s event to go along with another silver medal from the UWW Cadet Nationals. Just as he was getting set to make a run at the gold this year, an arm injury put his plans on hold. That’s actually okay — he’s got bigger things on his mind.
Despite having already amassed an extremely impressive start to his high school folkstyle career (he won a state title as a freshman and finished second this year), Nutter is ready to leave the days of headgears and mascots in the past. That’s because he is looking to enroll at Northern Michigan University next year as a high school junior and compete in Greco Roman full-time. It’s become part of a growing trend, as other talented athletes have made the same call. Nutter, who is a product of Wisconsin’s vaunted Combat Wrestling Club, is now amped to climb back on the horse as soon as possible. Thankfully, he’s all healed up and ready to go. We caught up with Alston just as he was settling into the Olympic Training Center for some summer workouts.
5PM Interview with Alston Nutter
5PM: How does it feel to be back at the OTC practicing, and how has it gone so far?
Alston Nutter: It’s great being able to get back on the grind. Just knowing I can train again and start working for my goals again is the best feeling. Also, practices at the OTC are awesome. It’s cool knowing you’re wrestling with the best wrestlers in the country, and also knowing they are what it takes to help push you to the top.
5PM: How is your arm doing?
AN: I had a rare condition where there’s a giant bruise and the bone and skin ripped away from the muscle. It was really painful. I’m one of the unlucky ones it happened to. It’s been hard not training the entire summer with an injury. I’ve been wrestling my entire life, so it’s been weird not being able to.
5PM: Tell us about your high school career real quick.
Alston Nutter: My freshman year I wrestled at 120 lbs, D3 and won state with a record of 51-1. Sophomore year, runner up with a record of 47-6. I wrestled at Fennimore High School. This year, we actually won team state. I won my match in the finals against Stratford. I’m currently going into my junior year and the plan is to head to NMU at the end of the summer. It hasn’t been decided officially yet, but I’ve been putting all my focus on Greco. I want to go strictly Greco, it’s my passion.
5PM: How did you make the decision to go to Northern Michigan?
AN: I’ve been wrestling a lot. I go to the OTC quite a bit and I communicated with Coach Lindland. You know, he’s trying to get the youth to go strictly Greco Roman and they picked me. They took me under their wing a little. I told him what I wanted to do and he supported that. It’s cool I have the opportunity to do this.
5PM: What do your parents think about this decision?
AN: I’m lucky enough to have parents that stand behind me no matter what I want to do in life. They push me to continue with what I’m passionate about.
5PM: What are your goals?
AN: Make a Junior World team and win gold medals. And then eventually make the Olympic team and win a gold medal.
5PM: What do you look forward to most about spending time up at NMU?
AN: I just look forward to working more with such good guys to better myself. It’s exciting to know I have more opportunity to do such great things.
5PM: What is your life going to look like attending NMU before you’re done with high school?
AN: Right now, it’s looking like I’ll go to a high school up there and live in the dorms on the NMU campus. I’m still talking with my family, making sure it’s right for what I want to do — It is what I want to do. I’m certain. I’ll graduate early, but from a high school up there, and then continue training with the best.
5PM: Do you consider this a risk?
Alston Nutter: I don’t consider this a risk at all. There’s nothing else I want to do. For me, there’s no downside. If I want to be better, this is what I have to do.