Pugilist Pike packs powerful punch

Nathan+Pike+finished+this+season+with+an+18-5+record.+He+is+now+preparing+for+the+NCAA+East+Regional+in+order+to+advance+to+the+National+Championships.

Rachel Kaplan

Nathan Pike finished this season with an 18-5 record. He is now preparing for the NCAA East Regional in order to advance to the National Championships.

Jonathan Schifman, Contributing Writer

After earning the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards for the Mt. San Antonio College wrestling team last year, junior Nathan Pike was recruited by several schools, but none appealed to him more than NYU. Since coming to New York City, he hasn’t missed a beat. With an 18-5 record, Pike has played an integral role in the wrestling team’s success this season.

“They flew me out here on a recruiting trip and it was my first time in New York,” Pike said. “I was blown away by the lifestyle here, and I really wanted to
come here.”

He won two matches in the University Athletic Association Championship to help NYU capture its fourth straight title, and is tied for the lead on the team with seven technical falls and seven major decisions on the season.

Pike’s success in his first year as a Grappler was highlighted when he was named to the All-UAA team for the 133-pound weight class.

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Staff Photo by Rachel Kaplan. Nathan Pike wrestles during a match against Stevens Institute in Coles Gym on February 4, 2015.

 

“As of now, my biggest moment has been making the All-UAA team,” Pike said. “However, I think it’s a big moment anytime I come out of a match with a win. It’s very hard to downplay what it feels like to win a wrestling match.”

Pike’s successes are due in large part to two main factors: training time and mental preparation. The wrestling team practices six times per week, going through drills and intrasquad wrestling matches. Perhaps more important than training, Pike enjoys being on the mat.

“The key to success is obviously to put in the time, but what’s more important is doing the little things and paying attention to the little details that your opponents forget about,” Pike said. “You have to separate yourself from the competition to succeed. Plus, a lot of it is having the right mental attitude toward it all. You have to walk into the wrestling room and love what you’re about to do.”

Pike, an economics major who enjoys snowboarding and skateboarding, did not expect to adapt to a new school and team as quickly as he did. After connecting with the team and getting off to a strong start earlier in the season, he began to set high goals for himself and his teammates: to become NCAA Division III National Champions.

“Everyone has been putting in their fullest efforts in the wrestling room and our results are reflecting that,” Pike said. “I think the reason for everyone putting in so much effort is because we all want to help each other succeed. I think each individual has great potential and if we play our cards right and train hard there is no reason we shouldn’t have the whole team making it to nationals and becoming All-Americans.”

The Grapplers ended the regular season with a 21-3 record, and are now preparing for the NCAA East Regional in hopes of advancing to the National Championships. The East Regional will take place on March 1 at Ferrum College in Roanoke, Virginia.

A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 23 print edition. Email Jonathan Schifman at [email protected]