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March 21, 2015

Nathan Tomasello


THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Nathan Tomasello.  Nathan, let's start with an opening statement.
NATHAN TOMASELLO:  It was crazy.  Zeke threw everything at me.  And he competed as hard as he could.  Both wrestled really hard.  And he did a great job.
I mean, he was tough to score on.  I thought that he had‑‑ I thought he was a great opponent.  I'm glad I was able to come out on top.

Q.  He had a front headlock roll, put you on your back there pretty late in the bout.  Was that concerning to you?  It kind of just popped there and it did open up an opportunity for him to get back in that match?
NATHAN TOMASELLO:  Right.  Yeah.  He's really good at getting big moves and wrestling him throughout high school and college, I've been put on my back before with him.
So I knew I had to get off as quickly as I could.  And I knew I'd still have one or two points of cushion.  So the only thing was just not getting pinned.

Q.  Was it a little different starting a little bit later, they start at 49, going to 25 near the end.  Was that different for you?
NATHAN TOMASELLO:  Heck, yeah.  Being eight instead of first.  Just had to be really patient watching NCAA champs and just how excited people were.  So not getting, like, letting the emotions affect me too much.  Being focused, calm and ready to go when it was my turn.

Q.  Could you compare being on the great stage at the NCAA Finals to Junior Nationals or the Ohio State meet or any of the other major meets you've wrestled your whole life.  Compare your experience of competing on that stage and winning?
NATHAN TOMASELLO:  It's a really great experience.  The crowd's incredible.  And being up on a raised platform is just exhilarating.  I really enjoy competing and especially being on the big stage, it makes you love the sport, and that's why you train so hard.  So being on the finals for Junior Nationals and at state and now here just gave me a lot of experience so I could just be collected and wrestle my match and not let the crowd affect it.

Q.  Can you picture a better freshman year?  You're voted a captain and your team wins a Big Ten Championship for the first time in 51 years.  You win the first‑ever team national championship for the school and now you're individual champion.
NATHAN TOMASELLO:  It's just a great learning experience and journey throughout the year.  Just grew so much and just having great coaches and great throw partners and people who love to compete and love the sport of wrestling every single day just helped me get to this moment where I could make it and wrestle at my best at nationals.  Just truly thankful everyone that supported me and just truly excited to be here.

Q.  Is it surreal to be a freshman NCAA champion?
NATHAN TOMASELLO:  It's been a dream of mine and a goal of mine for many years now as a freshman and putting in the time, every single day, makes it worth it.  And just going through the grind of the season and just this is where you can let yourself fly and see who's the best.  At this tournament I feel like I peaked at the right time and was wrestling at my best through the Big Ten and then here.

Q.  Could you talk about the training partners and coaches that work with you specifically?  Obviously you've got a stacked room with both the Ohio State coaches and people that have wrestled at the Ohio Regional Training Center.  What kind of people have been part of this championship that really worked with you directly?
NATHAN TOMASELLO:  Well, it starts with the coaches, Coach Rosselli, Coach Jaggers, Coach Ryan, Coach Thatcher.  And my throw partners ‑‑ Johnni, Logan, Sal Marandino, Hunter Stieber, Micah Jordan.  Everybody that's lightweight has contributed to my success and then my family just being so supportive and just ultimately having God in my life and putting him first at the end of the day just helped me just have the confidence to come out here as a redshirt freshman and just compete at a high level without being nervous or without letting the nerves take over.

Q.  I see you have trimmed hair.  Any chance that J Jaggers will give you tips on fashion after this NCAA Tournament?
NATHAN TOMASELLO:  J's the fashion king.  So I do ask him sometimes for tips.  But he's so sensitive about everything he does and he wears.  So for me it's just having a good clean cut and not worrying about my hair in the morning.  So that's kind of me.  And I just like having that buzz cut.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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