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March 18, 2022

Quincy Monday

Detroit, Michigan, USA

Media Conference

Q. Quincy, I don't need to tell you what has happened with Princeton and Ivy League wrestlers. You guys have basically in a sense disappeared like most people did. What did you do during that mindset that kept you together that Princeton has two finalists?

QUINCY MONDAY: You are talking about over the last year with COVID and everything?

Q. Yes.

QUINCY MONDAY: It was a tough time. We were kind of scattered around. Everyone kind of doing their own thing. We had some guys training in Jersey. I was back training with my dad. We all had that similar goal in mind. Just kind of kept that feeling of what we were feeling going into Nationals in 2020 because we were ready. We were ready to go.

Q. What kept you at Princeton then? You said everybody went elsewhere. What kept you and made you go back?

QUINCY MONDAY: So a lot of us took gap years, and so we were just kind of doing whatever we were doing over the year with our own time. We had a lot of guys training in the area in Jersey. I was fortunate to have my dad to have a good training situation down in North Carolina, and so I was able to do that, and I took a few trips up to New Jersey to train with the guys and see them every now and then.

Q. You mentioned your dad, Kenny Monday, Olympic gold, all-time great. What has he meant to your career?

QUINCY MONDAY: Almost everything. He introduced me to the sport. He built the foundations with me and instilled a belief system in me, believing in yourself. A lot of people ask me about the pressures that come with having an Olympic champion as a father and if it's a lot to handle, but I just think of it as something to strive towards. He showed me what the highest achievements in wrestling is and just being able to pursue that and trying to kind of reach that and take what he has shown me to be the best that I can be in my own career.

Q. I wanted to ask, what was your strategy going into this match? It is a two-part question. What was the strategy going into this match, and what's been the atmosphere been like here in Detroit?

QUINCY MONDAY: Yeah. The first question, strategy going into this match, it was going to be stressful. I don't really plan for them much. I wrestled Lewan a couple of times in my career. He is a stingy wrestler. He doesn't really come forward a lot. He is a defensive wrester. And that's been the story of my tournament so far. Guys have been trying to keep it close, not really attacking me a lot. That makes it a little harder for me to get to my stuff, but I found a way to get a couple of attacks in here and there and pick my spots.

Q. You wrestle Ryan Deakin tomorrow night for a national championship. Have you wrestled Ryan before?

QUINCY MONDAY: I have. I wrestled him twice; once in my freshman year and then in Vegas this past year.

Q. What does he do that gives you concerns or what do you need to do to win that match?

QUINCY MONDAY: He is a good wrestler. He is really strong. He is good in the position he is at. He has a high finishing rate. I like the challenge because unlike a lot of these other guys, he is going to come forward. I know that for a fact. He is going to shield and attack, and it's going to open up some possibilities for my reattacks. I'm welcoming the challenge, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Q. Princeton hasn't had a national finalist in 20 years. Now have you two in 20 minutes. What's it mean to you and Pat and the program?

QUINCY MONDAY: It means a lot to the program and our coaching staff. Ayres, Dubuque, Grey, Nate Jackson, they're amazing. They're a great group of guys. The work we've put in year in and year out and even in the past year, just to reach the stage just means so much to me.

Pat, he is a great leader on our team. He has been setting the bar high since we were freshmen. And just being able to be on that big stage with him means so much to me.

Q. I don't want to dwell on that gap year, but that had to be tough, especially because in 2020, you guys had won the Ivy League. You expected to go to the NCAAs and perhaps do what you all are doing right now.

Do you remember a conversation you had with Chris Ayers or Joe Dubuque or somebody else that tied you guys and kept you guys together?

QUINCY MONDAY: It was just kind of believing in the process, believing in what we were building and trying to kind of bottle up the momentum that we had going into the national tournament after winning the Ivies in 2020. It was tough, especially coming back.

The start of this year, we had guys still off. They were taking a half gap year. Our team was still trying to find itself for a lot of the season, but I think they had a great plan for us to peak at the right time, and so that's kind of coming to fruition right now.

Q. You have wrestled in a lot of venues. I just want to get your feel for Detroit. How is the atmosphere here?

QUINCY MONDAY: It's amazing. I love the arena. The fans, it's amazing to have the fans back, of course. I love the crowd noises. It's funny, whenever we do matches in our room, we have this crowd noise going on in the background. It's artificial crowd noise. It's the most annoying thing ever, but it did prepare us for this moment. I didn't feel rattled or anything. We were ready.

Q. When you won out there in the semis, they went to your parents that were up in the stands. They were both pretty excited, pretty excited. By the way, I wrestled your dad. My first college match was against your dad.

QUINCY MONDAY: Your very first one? How did it go?

Q. Not so well. He did hit me with a fireman's carry, and I haven't seen you hit one yet. That was his move.

QUINCY MONDAY: I need to get back to it.

Q. Do you have that move?

QUINCY MONDAY: Yeah, I have a fireman's. I definitely wish I could pull it out more. I got away from it. I hit it more last year -- not last year, but the year before that, but it needs to get back into my bag with that.

Q. Have you watched any of his old films, videos?

QUINCY MONDAY: Of course, all the time. He is always posting it too. I don't know if you follow him on social media or anything, but he is always going in this archives and pulling out the classics. And so, yeah, I've seen almost all his stuff. It's amazing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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