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 19, 2011

Kellen Russell


141-lb. Champion

THE MODERATOR: Joined now by 141-pound champion Kellen Russell from Michigan who caps an undefeated season 38-0 with the championship. Questions.

Q. Kind of no surprise, you scored your takedown out of a scramble. Talk about your comfort and uncomfortable positions like that and how it won you the national title?
KELLEN RUSSELL: The whole time before preparing I knew I was going to have to get into a scramble score a takedown, but I knew he's one of the best scramblers in the country, too, from wrestling him prior.
So going into the match I was trying to get my feet moving a little bit and the third period things started clicking together. My ankles hurt me a little bit. When I got into the scramble I was waiting for the right opportunity to be able to pick him off there.

Q. Do you feel good about getting a takedown and not having the overtime in comparison to the rest of this competition? We talked a lot about overtime with you this week. I just wanted to talk about taking care of business in regulation.
KELLEN RUSSELL: Definitely, going into the match I was looking to finish it in seven minutes instead of 11 minutes, like yesterday, for both my matches.
So I was just trying to take that takedown in the third.

Q. You may not know this, but it was two years to this date, two years ago to this date that you lost to the kid from Illinois before reaching the quarterfinals. How much of a motivation was that?
KELLEN RUSSELL: I didn't even know that. You know, I didn't really use that as motivation that I lost prior at nationals. I was just coming in here and knew that if I wrestled to my best of my ability I would be able to come out and win the whole thing. So that really wasn't motivation for me, it was more motivation of my hard work throughout the season.

Q. I actually had it as two days, one hour, and 42 minutes since you had that match. Again, congratulations. Talk to us a little bit about coaching. I talked to Joe McFarland prior to maybe an hour and a half ago, and he talked about your quiet confidence on the day. Can you talk about that?
KELLEN RUSSELL: What was it?

Q. Quiet confidence, Joe McFarland's comment about you.
KELLEN RUSSELL: Yeah, you know, I'm not -- I don't think I really talk a lot about how confident I am. But, you know, throughout the day I might be quiet outside, but inside the wheels are always turning and I'm always thinking about what I'm going to do when I'm out on the mat there.
And I think so I present myself as confident even though I might not be talking like I am or saying a lot of stuff. But inside my head I know I'm confident. I think that really shows just from my body language.

Q. You're now the ninth national -- Blair's won nine national championships now, only three high schools in the country have more than that. Could you talk about what Coach Buxton and Blair did to help you to get to this point?
KELLEN RUSSELL: Yeah, I think just being in the room with some of the top guys in the country in high school and also having the guys who were national champs coming back and helping us out when we were in high school. And that all prepared us for college wrestling and also just the whole atmosphere of Blair where you're responsible for yourself. I think that really had a lot to do with me being successful here in college, to be able to rely on myself.

Q. When we talked this summer you thought the redshirt year had really helped you mentally taking last season off. Now having gone through a year of competition, how do you think that that benefited you taking a year off between your sophomore and junior year?
KELLEN RUSSELL: I think, like I said yesterday, I think that sparked that fire again. And I had a lot of tough matches today or this week that I really had to dig deep and I had that little extra, I wasn't here last year, and I really wanted to come out and wrestle to the best of my ability. I think having a year off really helped me spark that little fire again.

Q. You were able to win your title here out East. Talk about going through the process and being able to be your best, where you're from.
KELLEN RUSSELL: When I found out that Nationals was going to be in Philly, I was really excited about it. It is real close to my hometown and I have a lot of friends and family that have been watching me all weekend on TV and coming down here.
So going into the weekend, I knew there might have been chances for me to become distracted by all the people I know here.
But I was really concentrating on staying focused the whole time and staying focused on one match at a time. And I think that took a lot of effort. But it's good to go through that experience.

Q. You have a lot of younger teammates out here, freshmen and sophomores, who got a chance to come out here and compete on the national stage. You were here, of course, as well when you were much younger and coming up through. If you had to go back now and talk to your former self, what would you say? What kind of advice would you give to pump yourself to this place?
KELLEN RUSSELL: Like if I was a freshman in terms of myself?

Q. Yes, if you were talking to a freshman, what would you say?
KELLEN RUSSELL: I would probably tell myself, one of the biggest things is being familiar with where you're wrestling at. I know my freshman year I wasn't prepared at all for coming to Nationals and I thought I had been to big tournaments before. But stepping foot on the mat for the first time my freshman year here was a huge kind of shock to the system, with having so many people here cheering and loud and all the distractions going on.
So I probably will go back and tell myself to come and be familiar with here and be confident in my wrestling.

Q. What does it mean to win the national championship in the maize and blue representing Michigan?
KELLEN RUSSELL: It feels amazing. It's a great honor to even compete for the University of Michigan, and all the people in my life that have helped me throughout school, wrestling and everything else, it really pushed me to be a better student and a better athlete and that led me to Michigan.
And just to be able to wrestle for them is great. And to win a national title, I feel like I'm able to give back a little to them and show the wrestling community like how great of a university the University of Michigan is.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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