CP’s Jason Tsirtsis: ‘I get to wrestle for my country’
By LaMond Pope 713-2691 or email@example.com June 27, 2013 6:46PM
Crown Point High School's Jason Tsirtsis became eighth wrestler to win four consecutive State Wrestling Championships. | Doug McSchooler~for the Post-Tribune
Updated: July 30, 2013 8:37AM
Jason Tsirtsis, the four-time high school state wrestling champion from Crown Point, is ready to take on the world.
Tsirtsis qualified for the 2013 FILA Junior World Championships by winning the 66 kg freestyle division at the ASICS U.S. Junior World Team Trials on Sunday in Stillwater, Okla.
“It feels good. It’s rewarding, but it’s still a stepping stone to what I want to accomplish in August, which is be a junior world champ,” Tsirtsis said in a phone interview Wednesday.
The FILA Junior World Championships take place Aug. 13-18 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
“For a few days, I enjoyed winning the trials,” said Tsirtsis, a redshirt freshman at Northwestern. “But now I’m focused on winning that gold medal in Bulgaria. I’m still hungry.”
Tsirtsis won the 66 kg/145.5 pound freestyle division FILA Junior National championship in April, which earned him an automatic spot in the championship at the U.S. Junior World Team Trials.
“It was a different type of outlook on it because I had to sit around and see who I had to wrestle instead of just going through the tournament like any other time I’d wrestled,” he said.
Tsirtsis met Zain Retherford in the best-of-three series and won the first match 8-3.
“The first match I had a slow start to the day, and didn’t execute like I wanted to. The match was a little closer than I wanted it to be,” he said.
After a 20-30 minute break, the two squared off again. Tsirtsis scored an 8-0 first-period tech fall victory.
“I got the juices flowing from the first match and rolled right through the second one,” Tsirtsis said. “I felt like my old self in the second match and just executed what I wanted to do and I wrestled my match.”
Tsirtsis said he is proud to get the chance to represent the U.S.
“It’s awesome. I’ve never had this experience before,” he said. “Not only am I representing the Crown Point Bulldogs or Northwestern, but I get to represent the whole United States in a competition and get to wrestle for my country.”