While most high school wrestlers are ready for a break at the end of the season, Missoula Big Sky's Hunter Meinzen would rather hit the road for more competition.
Meinzen, who won a State AA title this past winter and finished runner-up as a freshman in 2018, won the 145-pound weight class at the Reno Worlds Championships this past weekend in Reno, Nevada. There were over 90 wrestlers in his bracket and Meinzen won seven matches.
"My main goal is to wrestle in college, so I like to travel out of state and compete so I can get recognized by college coaches," Meinzen said Tuesday. "I went into this meet looking to have fun, just trying to wrestle my hardest."
Meinzen says he's been focusing on Freestyle and Greco-Roman technique lately. He plans to try out for the Cadet Worlds team in May in Ohio. That team travels abroad to compete.
This weekend marked the second time Meinzen, 16, came away with a gold medal at the Reno Worlds. He also earned a championship as a 12-year-old in 2015.
Meinzen's coach at Big Sky, Rick Moreno, describes the sophomore as a tireless worker who doesn't rest on his laurels. Moreno believes Meinzen has the potential to be an NCAA Division I athlete.
"He loves working out and he's used to that big-meet environment," Moreno said.
Meinzen has also shown himself to be an exceptionally tough athlete. As a freshman in high school, he broke the tibia in his right leg playing football but still managed to take second at the state wrestling meet at 138 pounds.