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March 18, 2011

Clayton Foster

Dustin Kilgore


MODERATOR: We're joined by the No. 4 seed, Dustin Kilgore from Kent State who moves on to the finals and improves his record of 37-2 on the year in the 197-pound finals, so congratulations. We'll open it up to questions.

Q. Being Kent State's first finalist, your thoughts about that?
DUSTIN KILGORE: Well, it's quite an astonishing feeling. We had quite a dry spell with no All Americans, and to be able to use that couple years to pull it off is really great feeling, and especially being in the finals. I want the title more than anything. So it feels great.

Q. You made a decision in your career to move up and get bigger and stronger, and it just looks like when you're out there you're wrestling with a whole lot of confidence and power. Could you talk a little bit about why that move made sense and then how it's affected and improved your career?
DUSTIN KILGORE: Over the past summer I got bigger than ever before, about 215, and it just felt like the right decision. Cam Simaz was just getting brutal and it was really throwing me off and the whole cutting weight and everything, so moving up definitely felt like the best decision to do.

Q. You are absolutely huge. I don't know, what are you, focused on lower body? It appears that way.
DUSTIN KILGORE: Genetics is just all. But I've got a great strength coach, and he works. Mainly legs is a big thing, and in wrestling it's something that's very important.

Q. My original question was actually about coaching. If you would address the thought about Coach Andrassy and the staff, what they've done for you.
DUSTIN KILGORE: They've done everything they possibly could. They've believed in me more than anyone. And having coaches like them, it's amazing. They put all the work, time, effort they put into all their wrestlers. They believe in every one of us and they're doing a great job making a better team every year. They're doing a wonderful job.

Q. How about the pursuit of history trying to become Kent State's first national champion? Has that driven you?
DUSTIN KILGORE: You know what? That's what I'm going for, and I know it would mean everything to Kent State, to my coaches, family friends, fans. Every coach I've ever had, they're backing me up 100 percent, and that's what I need. That's driving me more than anything, knowing that I have great fans out there.

Q. State runner-up as a senior, how much has that driven you?
DUSTIN KILGORE: You know, that's driven me a lot, especially because my junior year coming off the state title, you want to repeat, and not being able to do that, all the time I look back on that, and it's not a great feeling. But it drives me. Just like at the NCAA not placing as high as I would like to, that drives me each and every day to be better.

Q. Dustin, two wins on him by identical scores, 10-9. What, if anything, separates you two and what makes the difference in such a tight match?
DUSTIN KILGORE: We're both just going at it. We're both getting out there, taking our shots. We're go-getters. We like to shoot, I guess you could say.
But it's hard to say. We're pretty even actually. He's a great kid. He shows a lot of sportsmanship out there and that's very impressive. Especially after we've wrestled twice. He's a great opponent, and anything can happen between him and I when we wrestle.

Q. You just mentioned that you got to 215 last summer. Was that intentional, or what happened there?
DUSTIN KILGORE: That was not intentional. Kind of went on vacation, did a lot of lifting, got big. I thought I was weighing maybe 205, 200, in between there. Came home and I was big. I was heavy. But I leaned up and I definitely came in stronger than ever before.

Q. (Off microphone)?
DUSTIN KILGORE: I didn't quite have the decision. When I first came back to school I hadn't thought about going to the 197. I even thought about it last year. And I wrestled, and my weight wasn't getting down, so I knew 197 was the decision. I told my coaches and they backed me up 100 percent. They didn't argue with it or tell me to think about 184 again. They definitely backed me up on it.
MODERATOR: Dustin, congratulations. Good luck in the final.
Our other 197-pound finalist, Clayton Foster, continues his undefeated season, 26-0, No. 2 seed coming in. We'll take questions for Clayton at this time.

Q. Tell us how you feel. What's going through your head?
CLAYTON FOSTER: I feel great. Winning it like that, coming behind and taking him down last second, that feels great. I was pumped after that match.

Q. Tell me what you think the difference was in the match. Obviously both guys wrestled pretty well and you pulled it off today.
CLAYTON FOSTER: The difference, I was just the one that was the aggressor. I was working hard, taking shots, and he was backing up the whole time. Pretty much I think I was being aggressive was the difference in the match.
MODERATOR: Anything else for Clayton?

Q. Talk about your opponent in the finals, Kilgore.
CLAYTON FOSTER: Never wrestled him before. I know of him. I've seen him wrestle. It will be a good match.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the journey. You come in, you had to wrestle as a true freshman in a low 197-pound weight class. Here you are, you have your destiny in your own hands. Can you talk about the journey getting here?
CLAYTON FOSTER: It was pretty much miserable in the beginning, didn't make it to nationals my true freshman year and not pushing myself more. Then my junior year I turned it around and got 6th place. Just pretty put me over the hump for this year. Helped me out a lot confidence-wise.

Q. I don't know how you reacted to how the rest of your team was not doing or whatever. They came in with high expectations. Will a championship from you help any disappointment?
CLAYTON FOSTER: I'm not going to really worry about the team anymore. It's pretty much all on me what I do in the finals. I mean, what had happened and they'll just have to do better next year.
MODERATOR: Clayton, thanks. Congratulations. Good luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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