Freshman wrestler Jordan Bushey's freshman year brought sensational success, including earning All-American recognition by placing fourth in the country in his weight class.
Bushey finished the season with an impressive 39-2 record, not losing a match until the NCAA Championships in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on March 10-11. He completed the national tournament with a 4-2 record against the best Division III grapplers in the 184-pound weight class.
When SUNY Oswego News profiled him back in February, Bushey explained his goals, story and preparation.
“I just loved the sport of wrestling since I was like three,” Bushey said. “It’s just always been something I loved and I’ve just always got after it when I get on the mat.”
Wrestling coach Mike Howard, who has coached All-Americans and national champions in his time with the Lakers, sees some special ingredients in Bushey.
“He’s just a real strong competitor. Anything we’re doing he’s trying to win. If we’re playing dodgeball, then he wants to be the winner of the dodgeball game. At practice he’s trying to come out on top,” Howard noted.
“And he’s just real explosive,” Howard added. “He’s got that knack of being relaxed in tight situations. I think that helps, his calmness and his explosiveness when he needs it.”
Hard work, togetherness
Bushey’s work ethic complements those assets.
“I love the weight room. I love getting in there in the morning, 7 a.m. lifts. Just working hard, I guess,” Bushey said.
“Everyone’s really close,” Bushey said. “Everyone seems to have a lot in common. All day long, we’re pretty much hanging out with each other, so we all have a really good bond.”
Choosing to attend Oswego to study wellness management after a high school injury, Bushey’s transition to wrestling some of the best in NCAA Division III has gone well.
“Just coming out of my injury, I’ve been working really hard,” Bushey said. “Something I’ve really always wanted is to be a national champ, and this is the year I think I’m going to do it.”
On and off the mat, the Oswego experience and the people have been great for him.
“I love everyone here pretty much,” Bushey said. “It’s just a good atmosphere for me. I really love it here.”
Bushey collected the 47th All-America honor in the program's history and the program's first All-American since John Spinner in 2006.