Utah Tech wrestling club grows stronger together

The Utah Tech Wrestling club traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to compete at the 2023 National Collegiate Wrestling Championships March 9-11. Photo courtesy of Zeke Alleman.

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Although the Utah Tech wrestling club may be small in numbers, the “family-like” bond fuels growth and unity.

The club is a student-run organization that is led by its club president Zeke Alleman, a senior psychology major from Irvine, California.

Alleman said the team has created a great culture in the past year that has resulted in a more positive, uplifting environment that is both competitive and fun.  

One of the ways the team creates camaraderie is through the early morning practices together. Alleman said a team that suffers together is a team that grows closer together. 

“It builds a lot of respect for who’s there with you,” Alleman said.

Ruben Zarate, a junior communication studies major from Delta, said there is a noticeable emphasis on the team aspect of the sport rather than the individual aspect, and that it has helped everyone grow this season. 

Zarate said: “Whenever I have questions, my teammates will stop wrestling and practice and say, ‘Hey, this is what you can improve on, here is what works for me…’ They really care about you and want you to succeed.” 

In addition to the unity among the wrestlers, the coaching staff cares about each student-athlete and gives each of them “the best opportunity to grow” while they are practicing and competing.

The wrestling club traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to compete at the 2023 National Collegiate Wrestling Championships March 9-11. 

While there, Alleman was the program’s first national finalist along with another top 16 finisher. 

“Everyone worked as hard as they could, whether it was before the tournament started or if it was the camaraderie after,” Alleman said. “Being able to work as a team and grow together was very cool.”

Zarate said that within his time, he would love to see a full time with someone in every single weight division.

The club members are looking forward to watching the team grow and eventually get to the point where there are too many people on the roster. 

Mackenzie Morrison, a sophomore biology major from Star Valley, Wyoming, got involved at club rush and started as a team manager.

“I love how much they care and how much they let me participate… I’m definitely looking to compete and work harder next year,” Morrison said. 

The club welcomes anyone that is interested in learning, so no tryouts are necessary. 

Coach Rob Alleman said: “Your growth will be incredible. It will not be easy, so don’t expect it to be easy. There are times it won’t be fun. But what you’ll learn from it by forcing yourself to go through those difficult times will help you immeasurably not just as a student, but in your personal life and many different things you learn.”

Rob Alleman said wrestling is a tool, it is not just a sport. Everyone involved can learn how to be “more mature adults” and “people that function in society.”

“The more it grows, the better we become, the more supportive we are of each other,” Zarate said.