Athlete of the Week Archive

Jan. 12, 2006


Tyson Shatto

At what age did you start wrestling?
"I was nine years old and started in a Pee Wee league in Douglas. My dad wrestled in high school and he brought my brother and me up wrestling around. My brother did it and I wanted to be like big brother, so I tried it, had some success early and stuck with it."

What other hobbies do you have other than wrestling?
"I enjoy outdoor stuff like fishing and hunting. Growing up I played every sport I could. Basketball, football and track, I tried them all. I had success with some of them, but had the most with wrestling so that is what got me where I am."

How did you end up at Wyoming?
"I knew right away that UW was where I wanted to go. I met the coaches from here a few times during high school, enjoyed them and kind of clicked with them. My brother and sister both came to the University of Wyoming, my parents both came to school here and my grandparents graduated from the University of Wyoming. So there is a lot of tradition here in our family. I also wanted to stay close to home, because of all my family ties. I was offered at other schools, but the numbers better suited me here. It was important to me to be here, plus this is Division I competition so it's pretty cool to me."

How have you changed as a wrestler in your five years at UW?
"You come into here with big expectations, and then walk into that wrestling room where those older guys kind of put you in your place. I was able to wrestle varsity early, with minimal success and I got frustrated once in awhile, but I gained confidence as I went along. I've worked my way up from there and I've grown a lot in this program. I'd say that my biggest growth was last year. Where I'm at now I think I can wrestle with anyone in the country."

How do you stay motivated in such a demanding sport?
"Between school, weight-cutting and practices it can get to be pretty tough. You just have to have your priorities. You have to set those priorities early, stick to them and not let anything deter you from that track."

What has been the highlight so far in your career at UW?
"I like to go back to our team successes. The big win over Oregon State two years ago was a big highlight for me. Individually, it would have to be knocking off some of the Big Ten guys and some ranked wrestlers this year. Actually, my first couple of duals as a younger guy was a highlight. Just being able to step into that varsity uniform and run out there under the lights and in front of the crowd."

Do you like the travel?
"Early I did. Now I can't say that I enjoy it as much, but it's part of the package and you just have to do it. It's definitely harder to step into someone else's gym and wrestle. We do have some long road trips and that can wear on a guy, especially if you had a tough match the night before."

What are your plans after graduation?
"I'll have a degree in Physical Education. I'd like to stick with that and get into coaching. Definitely I'd like to stay in Wyoming. If I do have to go out of state I'd like to stay close and eventually make it back around here. That's the plan."