Senior 133-pounder Nick Suriano, one of the only members of the Rutgers wrestling team to win a national title, is returning to the Banks after a year away from the collegiate mats.
He took a year off so he could attend the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which was postponed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Suriano has a number of accolades in his file. He was the 2019 Big Ten Champion in his weight class and is a two time All-American. He is also the first Scarlet Knight to win a national wrestling title.
In the 2019 NCAA Championships, Suriano took down the first seeded Daton Fix of Oklahoma State.
“You could just expect an underdog to fight every second, to rise, and to be on top. The underdog who slipped and fell and whose been down and been out has lost. You expect him to fight,” Suriano said in an interview with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Suriano, a Paramus, New Jersey, native, attended Bergen Catholic, before heading off to Penn State his true freshman year. He compiled a 16-3 record with the Nittany Lions.
An ankle injury forced him to withdraw from the Championships that year. He later transferred from Penn State, and wanted to do one thing once he came to join Rutgers.
“I'm here for one thing only, and that's to make history,” Suriano said in an interview with NJ Advance Media.
He looked to perform in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. But, for the second time in his career, Suriano faced a setback. This time it was not his ankle, but the cancellation of the Trials.
In an interview with The Times Herald Record in March, Suriano talked about a lesson he learned from his father. “My dad used to tell me this quote, ‘Adversity creates opportunity,'” Suriano said.
This year, Suriano has a chance at defending his national title. There is still a lot in question for this season, though. No schedule has been released yet, and it is unclear whether fans will be allowed to attend the meets, if they occur.
Due to his Olympic redshirt, Suriano has one year left of eligibility. That means he has one last chance to represent the Knights and put another national title on his resume.
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