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March 18, 2016

Zain Retherford

New York, New York

Q. If you'd like to make a brief statement about your match and then we'll open it for questions.
ZAIN RETHERFORD: I just got done about two minutes ago, so not too much to say, really. I'm just catching my breath for a second. It was a fun match for sure, and I've been having fun all tournament.

Q. You went to that bow and arrow several times. Was there something about him in particular that made you want to use that or know you could use that?
ZAIN RETHERFORD: Yeah. Typically I hit that in freestyle, a lot of my freestyle matches, because guys base out in freestyle. They're not on all fours. He was kind of doing that. He was letting me -- he was doing a good job of keeping his hands out, not letting me get my one-on-ones I like to get, so I felt it was there, so I hit it.

Q. I didn't see your Big Ten match with Pantaleo, but you pinned him with the same thing. Is there something about the way he wrestles you that allows you to get that pinning combination?
ZAIN RETHERFORD: Like I said, he does a good job of not letting me get his wrist. I usually get that one-on-one and get to work with a different turn when I'm on top. But he does a good job of flattening out and kind of holding position. I think that kind of opens him up for something else.

Q. Can you describe what it was like last year to redshirt and watch the four wins in a row, the team championship wins get snapped, and maybe know you would be a part of the crew that would try to resume that and get that back?
ZAIN RETHERFORD: Yeah. I mean, it's never fun to lose, and it's not fun when you kind of just sit and watch and you can't really contribute physically out there like I am able to do this year. But last year my focus was helping the guys that were wrestling get ready to go, as ready as they could be. So that was my approach last year, as well as making sure I was getting ready for this year.

Q. You've had three pins and a tech in this tournament. Would you have done this well had you not redshirted this year? What did it do to make you more of an offensive wrestler?
ZAIN RETHERFORD: I don't know. I mean, wrestling is wrestling. A year definitely helped. There's no doubt in my mind, just from a technique perspective, being able to not focus on competing as much and being able to really zone in on my technique and my school and other stuff. So that really helped me be able to do that. And more than that, it made me learn that my freshman year, I was kind of in the mindset, go, go, go, go. Make sure I'm as ready as I can, pick up some things here and there, but relatively stay the same.

Last year kind of helped me learn. Even if you're competing, you can take a step back and learn something new throughout the year.

Q. Do you visualize yourself out on the mat, and last year as a redshirt, did you kind of just picture what it would be like this year when you're finally back out on the mat, and when do you do that? When you're on bus trips? Is it in bed at night before you go to sleep?
ZAIN RETHERFORD: Yeah, I visualize a lot. We have a great team psychologist. Her name is Bonnie. She helps out tremendously with our mental aspect of the wrestling game. I visualize -- to answer your question, I visualize whenever I can. Sometimes I'll just be walking to class and something will pop in my mind, and I'll just go with it. Most importantly, I'm just working on feeling what it's going to feel like to me.

Q. The pace has been relentless. How do you go and where do you go to dig deep for that, especially at this point in the tournament?
ZAIN RETHERFORD: You know, that's something you just -- you can work on your shape, so that's something. You might not be as talented, or you might not have the technique at that point in time, but you can always -- there's no excuse for really being out of shape ever, I feel like. I feel like that's something -- you can just go run up a mountain and do any time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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