Nick Reenan accomplished more as a freshman than most wrestlers do in their entire high school careers.
He went 50-0 and won a state title at 152 pounds for Highland Park in 2013, earning the designation as the top Class 4A wrestler in Texas.
That sensational debut earned Reenan a spot at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, a boarding school in Kingston, Pa., which is one of the premier wrestling programs in the country and located in one of the geographic hotbeds of the sport — which Texas is not.
In the two years since, Reenan has wrestled at an elite tournament in Slovakia and in Cuba, where in May he was the only competitor from any country to win in both the freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines at the Junior Pan American Games.
“It was really interesting to see how countries wrestle differently and how their mindset at tournaments was,” Reenan said. “I practiced with some of the guys, and that was awesome. It was a good learning experience.”
He’s also dominated in the United States, where he helped Wyoming Seminary win a National Prep Championship in February and twice has been a double champion in the Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D. He’s among the top ranked wrestlers at 170 pounds in the country, and has verbally committed to wrestle for Northwestern in 2016.
Reenan trained this summer at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., with Brandon Slay, an Amarillo native and freestyle gold medalist from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
“He’s above where I was at, at that age,” said Slay, who has coached Reenan since his days with the Dallas Dynamite club team. “He’s a very hard worker. He’s extremely competitive on the mat.”
Slay said Reenan is an example of how wrestling in Texas has grown in recent years, and he hopes that trend will continue.
“Texas wrestling is putting wrestlers into Division I programs who have the ability to become all-Americans,” Slay said.
Reenan said he might have Olympic aspirations down the road, but for now he’s focused on refining his technique and attempting to qualify for the U.S. junior world team next year.
“I need to get stronger and bigger,” Reenan said. “I need to get faster, but also I’m focusing on my mindset, not getting too worked up for matches. Sometimes I need to calm down and stay in control.”