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March 21, 2014

Nahshon Garrett


(Cornell) (37-1)

THE MODERATOR:  Nahshon, would you describe those last 30seconds, whatever, especially when he looked like he was close to taking you down.
NAHSHON GARRETT:  Yeah.  The last 30seconds, I got a little lazy.  I let him get in on a takedown.  The last 30seconds, pretty easy, and then had to fight for that when he was in on my legs.  Pretty tough, that last go.
But ultimately it was just about pushing myself to defend what I could and do what I could do to get out of there and make it through and post another advance to the Finals.

Q.  You had the first two takedowns, though.  How important was it in your mind to get that early lead and then be able to add to it?
NAHSHON GARRETT:  It was really important.  I needed to get to my shots, my offense really early on because I knew that at the end fatigue sets in a little bit, and I wanted to make sure that I was ahead.

Q.  What is the difference between you from last year?  Is it all just mental?  Is it new style?  Anything different?
NAHSHON GARRETT:  I don't think necessarily my style's changed, but I think that I'm just a little more experienced this year.  I've been here last year before.  Kind of had the jitters last year and got a little emotional before the semifinals, which kind of played a part in my loss.
But this year there's no fear.  I knew what I had to do.  I've been training a certain way, and I went out there and I wrestled the best I could.  Not the best I could, but I wrestled well enough to win.

Q.  You faced Delgado earlier this year.  Could you talk about that match?
NAHSHON GARRETT:  That was a pretty close matchup until the third when I had to try and do something to score.  But, I mean, it's strategy.  It's all strategy with him.  You can try to be as aggressive as you want to, and he's just so good at his strategic game plan.  He sticks to it very well.  Very commendable, actually, hand down.
But I think that's something that he's even taught me to pick up, even in the mat room, that I have to have strategy when I wrestle.  And it's not just about brawling it out and wrestling hard, because not everyone's going to do that.
People are trying to score the points and maybe sit on a lead, which is something that‑‑ I'm not saying he does that, but there's been some matches, though.

Q.  Got two Californians in the Finals, and obviously both of you left California, or at least Delgado left after a little bit to go to another part of the country.  Talk about the pride you have of being California wrestlers and what kind of deal it will be to have two of you going for the one title.
NAHSHON GARRETT:  I think it's great, because I think a lot of people‑‑ I think California gets a lot of‑‑ people talk a lot of smack about California because we may not have as many All‑Americans or whatever as New Jersey or New York or some of these other‑‑ Iowa or some of these other big states.
But I think it's a matter of that we can do it, and if you're out there, I think it's just a matter of just pushing yourself to grind it out like the rest of these states are doing.

Q.  How often would you two have met as preps?
NAHSHON GARRETT:  Not‑‑ I haven't even ever officially met him before.  But so we wrestled twice and never really had an introduction or anything.
But, yeah, so we haven't really done the whole formal thing at all.

Q.  I know you have a lot of friends and family here to support you.  How important is that for you, especially heading into the Finals?
NAHSHON GARRETT:  My relationships with my friends and family are one of the most important things that are keeping me going.  You know, last year when I was in the semifinals, when I was wrestling Delgado, I looked up in the stands and it was the overwhelming feeling of so much support and love that was encompassing me, and that's the reason I had‑‑ that's the reason I was getting so emotional because I was so happy and it was such an overwhelming feeling of emotion.
I mean, even more important than my relationships with those people ‑‑ I don't know if you're going to ask this or not, but I'm going to say it anyway‑‑ is my relationship with God and through Jesus, and I think that even over all those relationships and my relationship with my coaches, my sister, my girlfriend, and everybody else, you know, I have to have a relationship with my Father in Heaven and He keeps me going when no one else is there, really.

Q.  After the review in the first period, you had that takedown you raised.  What did you do to regroup?  And I know that possibly could have taken away some of your momentum.  How did you regroup at the end of the first period?
NAHSHON GARRETT:  Oh, yeah.  I knew at the very end of the period that people kind of relaxed a little bit.  I figured maybe I could catch him with my double.  I was actually able to do it, but it didn't count.
But my coaches, they're absolutely great.  They've been in these positions before.  They have wrestled in these positions and they know if it doesn't work out to your advantage, if you can't control‑‑ you can only control what you can control.  And so they told me if you don't get it, shake it off, get ready to go.

Q.  Cornell had a really good run last session and put themselves in the top five.  Talk a little bit about the program there and the kind of pride you guys take obviously, the king of the EIWAs, but have established yourself as the program that competitive at the highest levels.
NAHSHON GARRETT:  You know, I can't even‑‑ I would love to take credit for that.  I mean, I am a part of it.  But Coach Koll and Coach Hahn and Mike, they've done all the work and they do a great job recruiting people.
But even though we don't get some of the big names that we think we want, we're great at training.  We do a great job of training young guys and giving them confidence and pushing them to their peak so they wrestle like All‑Americans and national champions.
And I think that's what Koll does a great job of doing, is taking those people who are very unsuspecting, like, hmm, I don't think maybe he'll do that well, and they make those guys‑‑ you look at Gabe Dean, he's getting beat up on his senior year in high school and no one ever even looked at him.

Q.  Were you one of those guys?
NAHSHON GARRETT:  I think I was one of those guys, too.  I was really little.  I was about 112 pounds, probably like 1, like, 16, and I was very overlooked and people didn't really pay too much attention.  I think they saw potential, but they didn't want to invest in the future.
And Coach Koll saw me right away, and the moment he did, he said:  I want that guy.  And he sent a letter to my coach, and from there it's kind of history.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

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