home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 18, 2017

Cory Clark

St. Louis, Missouri

THE MODERATOR: Joining us now, 133-pound national champion Cory Clark of Iowa.

CORY CLARK: Preliminary remark it wasn't easy. I wanted to get my mind as tall as possible. My brain was kind of racing out on the mat. Took a lot -- took some toughness out of me that really gut that one out. He's a tough opponent.

Spunky, everything I expected. Almost exactly what I expected. And guys were talking about who is going down, who is going to choose down, this or that. Who had more running time in that match? That's all I gotta say.

Q. So many injuries, so much adversity through this year, you battled through it. I don't think getting taking down first is how you had that one drawn up, but to come from behind, win that match with a ride-out, what's it mean to you to finish off the senior like this after being runner-up a couple times, finally getting it done for the University of Iowa and (indiscernible) Coach Brands? What did it feel like to you and did you ever feel it was going to get done?
CORY CLARK: Did I ever think it was going to get done? I thought if it wouldn't have got done it would have been a disaster because that was my goal as a senior in high school. I always set high goals. I always said four-time NCAA champ was my goal. I didn't really tell anybody that, but that was my goal.

And each year I didn't accomplish that it hurt me inside. So to get it done this year is incredible. It means a lot. And some of these questions you guys are asking, I'm straight off the mat. So my answers are kind of maybe not where they would be if my head was straight. Got a lot of emotions running through me. But I don't know, man.

I'm just -- it's incredible to finally get this done. I've had two years in a row where I spent a week -- weeks in my basement just pouting, just being a baby, just not doing, not in a good spot. Not doing the right things.

And today I can look forward and know in two weeks I won't be in my basement with my headphones turned all the way up and crying two weeks from now. You know? So that's a good thing.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about that decisive takedown there in the third period and what you were able to do in that period to score?
CORY CLARK: My shots were there, but I wasn't going to -- with my shoulder dinged up I gotta be crisp, I can't be diving and hoping to get a leg. That's why maybe I haven't taken as many shots this year, but the shots I take I usually score. And people go, oh, you took five shots, you scored five times. They're five calculated shots because they have to be.

It's not -- most guys, you know, my whole life I've wrestled shoot ten times, score three. It's fun to wrestle like that. My shoulder, I take a bad shot a guy sprawls on me, it blows out a socket, I'm injury time, the guy gets choice or I can't finish the match. It's just one of those shots.

I saw it was there couple times in the match. I finally, late in the match, I had to go to it. I went to it. And right when I got in on the leg, Terry said, you've been here your whole life, you're good. And it made a lot of sense to me, because how many times have I came out of the back on somebody and been pretty good there, I finished.

And I thought he was going to be -- not taking anything away from him, it was a freakin' one of the toughest matches all tournament, but it was an easier ride than I expected, let's say that. So I know he was feeling it.

Q. Yesterday you said you'd tell us exactly what your injury was once this was over. Can you give us an explanation of how bad your shoulder was, what the injury is, what your plans are, what your considerations were during the season?
CORY CLARK: I mean, I hate talking about this stuff, I don't like being, want people feeling sorry for me or this be some sort of Cinderella story or anything. It's not incredible what I did. I just did what I do. I just did -- this is just what I'm about.

But you know beginning of the year, I hurt my wrist and tore ligaments in my wrist. And the only way to fix a torn ligament is surgery. So all year I've had a torn wrist and two weeks later I took a bad shot, shoulder blew out a socket. That's not an easy injury to deal with.

You're in the room everyday of the week. What am I going to do with that? So it was definitely a time where I didn't tell anybody this, but in my head I was thinking real bad thoughts. I was thinking, how the heck am I going to wrestle again? I couldn't lift my arm two inches, let alone reach out and take a shot. How the hell am I ever going to be back on the mat? I thought my season was over.

Tom tossed me out of that thought process. I worked real hard at it -- rehab, rehab, rehab, rehab, every day, three times a day; icing, icing. Two weeks not seeing the mat not once. That stuff three times a day every day. On the AirDyne bike going until I freakin' couldn't walk.

I finally can get back on the mat. Couple weeks later, boom, blows out again. Right back where I started. Same exact spot. How am I going to wrestle? What if this happens during a match, I'm going to be done? What if this happens at the NCAAs? Big Tens? I'm not going to be able go. I'm not going to be able to wrestle.

You know how competitors think. We have a million thoughts running through your head. And I'm not going to sit here and dwell on it, but you guys understand the significance of that, how that feels to be someone who has had a dream of being a national champ their whole life, and maybe have it thrown out the window, that's how I felt at the time.

But you know looking back at it, maybe that's why I won tonight, because I really had to suck it up, and I really had to make sure to become a better wrestler because of the injuries I had.

Q. Iowa has a tradition not only of excellence in wrestling, but also toughness. And I mean a lot of people talk about it. But for some reason the people that compete there and come out of that program can deliver it. Talk a little bit about how that helps an athlete like you even get through the tough times, just knowing that this is how Iowa people wrestle.
CORY CLARK: You mean it goes back to the reason that I went to Iowa. I saw the way they wrestled, they're tough and competitive. All the assets you said, those are what you got. All programs got their things that they are good at. Okie State kind of this lure you to sleep, wrestle the edge a little bit.

We're the opposite. We're go, go, try, go, go, and control the center of the mat, stay away from the edge. And that's just the way I grew up. That's how I like to wrestle. I'm a go-getter. I'm not a wait-around type guy. I like to score. I like to push forward. I like to get in guys' faces and guys head butt me, poke me in the eyes, push me in the head, that motivates me and that's, you think kind of talk to myself when a guy head butts me, oh, you think that's going to get to me, that ain't going to get to me.

I talk to myself out there. That's just the way I've been my whole life, so Iowa is just where I fit in. And being around other guys that have that same mentality, there's a reason they went to Iowa, there's a reason I went to Iowa. It makes sense why we're like that because we grow up wrestling like that and that's how we want to continue our collegiate career.

Q. You sat out all of December. By I think couple weeks into January, you seem like you were in a pretty good place mentally. At what point along the way did you get to the point that you were going to beat these guys in your mind no matter what was going on in your left arm?
CORY CLARK: I think I always thought that. When I was at my all-time low, Tom pulled me in his office talking to me, what you think your season is over? Why are you out there pouting? Not being mean. He was just being realistic. He wanted to get some stuff out to me because I didn't open up to anybody.

He could see it in my face. I was good at faking it around the media, I could fake it. But in all reality, I was hurting and the closest people to me could see that. And Tom pulled me in, talking to me, talking to me. At the end of that conversation I felt a lot better about my shoulder, what not.

Right as I walked out the door I remember I looked at Tom and I said, I just want you to know I think I can beat everyone in my bracket whether my arm's on me or off me. I can beat all these guys.

And he just said I agree. And that was kind of the turning point where I was just, like, you know what? This is my senior year. This is what I gotta deal with. I'm here. It's been done. No magic wand. No surgery going to happen. After the season, whatever. So that was kind of the point where I just really had to buckle down and get serious.

Q. Gritty, perseverance, words that come to mind. What's the word for you on your season?
CORY CLARK: Word for me? That's tough. I've always said that one person I'd really like to wrestle is myself, just because I want to see what it feels like. I want to see if I'm strong. I want to see how easy it is to get to my leg. I want to see what it feels like when I'm in on my own leg or myself is in on me, you know what I mean?

I don't know how to describe myself. I think if I could wrestle myself that would help. That might sound weird, but I thought about that multiple times a day. Man it would be tough to wrestle me. I'd be on bottom, man, this guy does not want me to get out. I'm on top, this guy will not let me ride him.

I think it would be tough to wrestle myself and I think that would help me figure out what to call myself maybe. I don't know. People always say I'm tough or this or that. I don't know, I'm just me. I don't know what to classify myself as.

Q. With the close calls, the injuries, all the stuff you've been talking about, the adversity how do you think when you reflect back what would be the sweetest point of this whole journey for you to winning?
CORY CLARK: I would say the second, right when that whistle blew, when that final whistle blew. Just unreal. Hit me. I just won. I don't even feel like a national champ right now.

It hasn't hit me yet because I came off the mat, I walked straight into here. I want to go back and see my family, see my friends and that's when it will really hit me. And just seeing my coach celebrate, that really got me. That was awesome.

Q. You executed the match you wanted to wrestle to win. But looked like you failed the celebration with Coach Brands. Can you talked about there?
CORY CLARK: I failed the celebration? I freaked out. I didn't know what to do, kind of out of it out there. He said throw me. I go, no. He goes, throw me. I said, all right. I grabbed him and threw him. So that's what happened. I don't know if he wants you -- he probably wants it to seem like I tossed him for some reason. I didn't want to throw him; he wanted thrown. He was fired up.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297