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Crown Point grad Tsirtsis wrestling for Team USA next week in Bulgaria

Crown Point High School's JasTsirtsis became only eighth wrestler wfour consecutive State Wrestling Championship after his defeIndianapolis Cathedral High School's

Crown Point High School's Jason Tsirtsis became only the eighth wrestler to win four consecutive State Wrestling Championship after his defeat of Indianapolis Cathedral High School's Vincent Corsaro in the 145-pound weight class. High school wrestlers from across the state competed in the 2012 IHSAA State Wrestling Tournament Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. | Doug McSchooler~for the Post-Tribune

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Updated: September 12, 2013 6:51AM



Regardless of event, no matter the size of the stage, Jason Tsirtsis doesn’t change his approach.

And that includes even the FILA Junior World Championships.

Tsirtsis, the 2012 Crown Point graduate who became Indiana’s eighth four-time state champion, will represent the United States in Sofia, Bulgaria, in the 66 kilograms/145.5 pounds freestyle division. He will wrestle next Sunday, the final day of the competition that begins on Tuesday.

“If I do the right things, I really think I’ve prepared the best I can, and I’m the best-prepared person going there,” Tsirtsis said from Cleveland, where he has been participating in a training camp with his U.S. junior world freestyle teammates since this past Sunday. “I have to be confident, they’re no better than me. A lot of times, people think the foreign wrestlers are better than they really are, and they psych themselves out before they even get out there. I’m confident in myself, and believe in myself.

“I have to focus on myself and what I have to do. I’m just going to compete like I always do, and wrestle like I know how to wrestle.”

That attitude has served him well over the years, including during the last several months.

In late June, Tsirtsis won the U.S. Junior World Team Trials in Stillwater, Okla., to earn his place at the junior world championships. His title at the Junior National Championships in April in Las Vegas automatically advanced him to the final of the junior world team trials, where he swept the best-of-three series.

Tsirtsis is scheduled to leave for Bulgaria on Tuesday. Once he and his teammates arrive, he plans to get adjusted to the eight-hour time difference, and continue his preparations.

“I want to make sure my weight’s coming down every day, and I’m not cutting too much weight the last day,” said Tsirtsis, who redshirted as a freshman at Northwestern last season, still posting an 18-3 record as an unattached wrestler. “I just have to do all the little things right.”

Tsirtsis said he has been abroad only to Canada. After he returns home from Bulgaria, he is going to Greece on a family vacation for a week-and-a-half. But one trip at a time — and, at the moment, the business is superseding the personal.

“It’s going to be a good time (in Greece), but I’m definitely focused on the wrestling part right now,” Tsirtsis said. “It has to be that way until I’m done competing. I’m just focused on wrestling for my country and trying to be a junior world champ.”



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