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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

Kinser succeeds for home crowd

B-town native excels on mat

Redshirt sophomore Kurt Kinser battles Purdue's Colton Salazar during the Hoosiers 21-12 win over the Boilermakers Feb. 6 at University Gym. Kinser defeated Salazar 12-6.

When it came time for sophomore Kurt Kinser to choose a college, he didn’t want to go far.

A graduate of Bloomington High School South, Kinser said he wasn’t interesting in leaving the state.

“I’ve always liked the atmosphere of the city, and it was just as good of choice as any other would have been,” he said.

While most kids get their first taste of sports around the age of six or seven, Kinser was on the mats by the age of four.

“My dad wrestled in high school, and that’s what got me going,” he said.

Kinser’s background in wrestling equipped him for a high school and Amateur Athletic Union career most wrestlers only dream of having.

While a sophomore in high school, Kinser took runner-up at a AAU wrestling event.
At Bloomington South, Kinser went 5-5 his freshman year and lost only once his junior and senior years. That sole defeat came in the state championships as a junior.

A year later, Kinser won the state championship.

“I look back on that as one of the most memorable moments of my career up to that point,” Kinser said.

IU coach Duane Goldman and Kinser’s teammates have trouble putting into words what Kinser, who was ranked No. 12 in the 157-pound weight class as of Feb. 6, means to the team.

“With his physical approach to his matches, he brings a lot of emotion and energy to this team,” Goldman said. “He’s a good role model for the guys because he’s got qualities that are good for wrestling.”

Teammate Paul Young, a sophomore and 165-pound grappler, said Kinser’s dedication is unmatched.

“His will is hard to describe because it’s the strongest I’ve ever seen,” Young said. “When I see how much heart and emotion he puts into this team, it really makes us get into it.”

Young also attended Bloomington South and has been friends with Kinser since second grade.

“He’s easily the toughest guy on the mat, but then the nicest guy off of it, which is something every wrestler should try to be,” Young said.

Kinser said his high school wrestling coach, Royce Deckard, and his father prepared him not only for the next level of wrestling, but for life.

“The game builds character, and Coach Deckard had our program set up great where we conditioned hard and focused on the fundamentals,” Kinser said.

After graduation, Kinser said he hopes to enter the service industry.

He said he is looking at criminal justice, and he might go to theology school.

Whichever career Kinser chooses, Young said he believes Kinser is equipped to be as successful as he is on the mat.

“He’s just a great kid all around,” Young said. “You just know whatever he chooses to do, he will be successful at it.”

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