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March 19, 2022

Nick Suriano

Detroit, Michigan, USA

Media Conference

125 pounds

Nick Suriano (Michigan) d. Pat Glory (Princeton)

Q. How do you like (indiscernible) title?

NICK SURIANO: I like it but I have to finish stronger. Once again, with the tiers, I think I broke through, I got to taste what it was like when I got put down a little bit. He called an injury time which was bogus. But it happens. He rode me at the end there. But that's what I mean by facing fears and challenges and getting it done regardless of the obstacle in front of you. Last night it was a whirlwind with that semifinal, and it's just carried me here right now today.

Q. Is this easier or harder than the first one you won?

NICK SURIANO: I think this one was a lot more challenging on the mat, I don't know. I had a big lead. I was dominating the whole match in my eyes. Get an injury time, threw me off. That was a tactic. And I lost all my focus.

But I think the whole buildup and just a lot that was on the line for me, you know what I'm saying, the obstacles around me and my head. It was a little different this time. Kind of reinvented myself and came back to that circle and it was a whole new me.

Q. Would you explain your journey starting at Penn State, going to Rutgers, being the first champ in Rutgers history, Olympic year, and COVID, missing the Olympic trials and now here. Explain some of your decisions and why you got to this point.

NICK SURIANO: Just proud for my mom, my family, they've been a part of it. Been a lot of ups and downs and adversity. That's life. But it threw me off. It took me to my knees.

And that COVID thing happened at the Olympic trials, I didn't even know if I wanted to wrestle again. It was like that just had to put everything in perspective and decide if this is the kind of man I wanted to become again. And can I do it in a way that was cleaner and more organic to who I was.

Q. You pointed to your folks after the match, (indiscernible) type of thing. Do I assume they understand you better than anybody? And was the journey going out West was it one of self-awareness that you needed outside of wrestling?

NICK SURIANO: 100 percent, great question. This stings in a lot of ways. I broke through a lot of barriers. That guy wrestled me tough, he had nothing to lose. Got a lot of respect for Pat Glory. There's a lot on the line in terms of what I'm representing. Coming from Rutgers and Penn State and even Phoenix, Arizona. I had to face my demons last night. That kind of resurfaced and the whole New Jersey thing tonight.

(Indiscernible) but I was so locked in that I dominated and won the match I hate to say I could do about anything, even if the ref hadn't gotten in the way. I've been in positions before. I have been challenged.

I have a great coaching staff with Michigan men, and I'm blessed and fortunate to the day I die for them supporting me, even a part of their journey in Ann Arbor. And the team race was one thing, but for me getting this title again on my mom's birthday was another.

And hate to keep rambling, but there's just so many obstacles beyond Pat Glory and the opponent who was in front of me. I feel like tonight I got to really learn about myself and a little bit of lulls at the end there, but it's a flash. It's a seven-minute of who you become in your life. And I think that struck me so much more than in my last experience in 2019.

Q. Is this what you were looking for now that it's all done, Michigan and everything?

NICK SURIANO: You know, probably not. But definitely the step in the right direction. The teammates is that motivated me in terms of my character and my motivation. But Ann Arbor is a great place. I'm excited to go back to my apartment and just knowing that I did it.

Q. You talked about breaking through fear, you mentioned that's something that you did tonight not in a big way. Is that something that you'll continue does that continue with wrestling?

NICK SURIANO: You know what, you know, this tournament for me was facing fears more than winning any wrestling match, more than any wrestling match I could ever dream of. I wrestled a great match in terms of the sport. But I just didn't finish it strong.

That was dealing with those fears. But I think those fears are what force your adrenaline. You have a choice to break through. I could have got turned. I could have packed it in. I said no way. No way. He can't beat me. I've come too far. But the challenge was there. That's in my mind now. That's a life lesson. And the first reaction was to congratulate him for his effort, honestly.

Q. Can you reflect on that and how even in New Jersey helped you to get to where you are today?

NICK SURIANO: I used to wrestle in the basement of Rutgers, I love Penn State. And this is why it's so important for my purpose and my mom, tapping into that energy and that sphere. Because those decisions I made were scary. Those decisions I made were on my end. You know what I mean? That wasn't my dad, my brother, my mom that wasn't me. I want to go home and I want to win.

Back to your question with Pat and Rutgers [inaudible] but I think after this one it was pretty clear regardless of how it ended I think it was the big moment and the energy and the people and the noise and the mind chatter just all that stuff that's nonwrestling related. Win.

Q. You wish more people understood you and your adventure? Sometimes I don't feel like people really do understand.

NICK SURIANO: I don't know if I want to be understood. I think I'm blessed to be up here in this sphere. It's not about the people. It's not about on the outside. There could be a million people out there. It could be. You bring it back, I've got my girlfriend, my mom, my brother, my dad, all the mentors, the people that I've looked up to, rest in peace, Enrique, shout out 2019. I let him go. [Inaudible] nice peace to him. (Indiscernible), had to let him go. And I have a new team that I love and that's the stuff that is beyond this interview and the wrestling match. It's just an honor to be back in the NCAA spotlight winning another national title.

Q. Are you going to train at the RTC up here? Is that your plans right now, or are you not sure?

NICK SURIANO: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. It's been such a journey and pursuit with some doubts. I always knew I was going to do it. That's why I came back regardless of the opponent, regardless of the opponent and who shows, who doesn't. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy.

And that COVID thing that really happened to me put things in perspective. I went out there with some joy in my heart this time. And it's those fears.

I could have scored more, but scored enough. And I'm ready to walk away. I don't know about training on Monday or whatever. I've got to see my mother, my family, all the people that supported this and made this happen for me. That's what's most important.

I want to thank my coaches at Michigan. Coach Barnett, Coach Churella and Coach Jackson, Dave, everybody there. They made it happen for me. I came in late. You know what I mean? And I'm probably rambling.

But I want this all to be out there. That's why I'm sitting down right now. And I'm just so thankful for the people I have in my life. I would not have been able to come back and do it again if anything I would have faded away. So I hope I proved the people that love me right because I truly did fight and wrestle to my best. Sometimes it's not always a happy ending. Thanks, everybody.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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