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March 17, 2017

Cael Sanderson

St. Louis, Missouri

Q. Obviously you've had a great night with all these finalists, but the Mark Hall match, did you see the pull on the headgear right away?
CAEL SANDERSON: Cunningham did, and I just said, whatever he said, I'm with him. So yeah, Cunningham saw it. You saw kind of a weird reaction of Mark's head kind of getting twisted and position he would scramble in, but wasn't able to.

Q. Before the tournament I asked you about was there any doubt for this team after the Big Tens, was there any doubt? Could you take us back to two weeks ago considering what you've done here tonight?
CAEL SANDERSON: Well, I think Suriano got hurt we were optimistic, and you always hope for a miracle. I believe in miracles. I thought there was a chance he could be back. He was fighting like crazy to get back. So I think more than anything that when you see a guy like that that works as hard as he does and is that important to our team, when you lose a guy like that at the last match of the season, that's tough. That takes a toll on the team, takes a toll on our staff, makes thing a little tougher.

But yeah, I mean, we're just -- I don't know if that's your question, but we -- our guys showed up. They have wrestled well. We've got a big day tomorrow, big matches in the finals.

Q. Was there any doubt in this team after the Big Tens?
CAEL SANDERSON: Do you want me to say yes?

Q. Well, someone might think because of (indiscernible)?
CAEL SANDERSON: We're going to come in here and do the best we can, regardless. We're not -- yeah, we want to win, right, and yeah, we know we have to wrestle great to win. We talked about that before. Every team is in the same boat. But I don't know if there's doubt. We believe in our kids, and we see the potential. We see the positives, and we've got to go with that.

Q. Almost to a man all five guys that came in this room said that you really preach having fun. What do you define as fun for these guys?
CAEL SANDERSON: Just wrestling well, being yourself, right, enjoying the competition, just being grateful for the opportunity we have to be here, and for all the little things that you take for granted. I think there's a lot of ways to describe fun, but we enjoy what we're doing. They love wrestling. Just because there's a big match on the line, that doesn't mean anything changes. You either love it or you don't, so we just try to enjoy what we're doing, and at the same time prepare these guys to be successful because that's what is the most fun.

Q. Cael, maybe at the beginning of the tournament, guys making their first appearance were looking a little tight, but now wrestling really loose. How important is that mindset and what's the back room been like in terms of keeping loose?
CAEL SANDERSON: I think overall we've been loose. I think maybe our freshmen were a little tight, but they also had tough matches. Vincenzo had a tough match every match of the tournament, Mark Hall had a tough match all the way through the tournament, and you know, and they're freshmen. We have two freshmen in the finals. That's what it takes. And they did a great job. But yeah, I think our guys are loose. They're wrestling great. Right, that's it. Why not wrestle great, right?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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