Jack Guan, a senior at Tower Hill School, recently achieved his 100th career wrestling win. Guan is only the second person in Tower Hill history to reach this career milestone. Guan co-captains the Hiller wrestling squad with his twin brother, Jim. He has consistently racked up tournament victories throughout his career, has qualified for States the past three years, and hopes to continue his success in the upcoming state qualifiers in the 170 pound weight class.
Tower Hill Senior Barbara Fleming sat down with Jack to ask him about his wrestling career and plans for college.
I started wrestling in eighth grade; actually, I started wrestling in seventh grade but I started wrestling varsity in eighth grade. Coach Holloway (the Tower Hill athletic director) actually convinced me to wrestle in seventh grade; I used to play basketball, but he convinced me to wrestle when he saw that I had talent. I volunteered to wrestle in eighth grade, but he pushed me and got me interested in the sport.
It must be a pretty incredible feeling to get your 100th win after five years of varsity wrestling. Going into the match, did you have a different mentality or strategy to secure the win? Did you have any nerves beforehand?
Actually, before the match I was very nervous. There was so much going on; it was potentially my 100th win. But I kind of went into the match with the same mindset that I always do; I did my normal warm up, I got mentally prepared. And once the match started, my nervousness went away. I just wrestled.
How did you become the wrestler that you are today, and who helped you get here?
My wrestling style mostly comes from coach Zach (the former head coach of the Tower Hill team). He no longer coaches here but he coached my eighth grade and freshman year. My wrestling style now is based off of what he did; movement, lots of fakes, and neutral positions. Coach Holloway has coached me all five years. After a loss, he tells me what I did wrong and on weekends I would come in and work with him. He was really helpful for my development. And, of course, the head coaches now, Coach Spear and Coach Kelly, along with my brother, Jim, are my drilling partners during practice and they really help me build. Jim and I wrestle all the time; it’s really good to have someone with you who can always help you train.
In your five years on the team, you have wrestled three different weight classes. How does your strategy change when you know that you’re wrestling in a different class?
I wrestled 189 pounds my 8th grade year, 182 my sophomore year, and in my senior year I wrestle in the range of 170 to 195. It’s a huge jump, because at 195 the guys are much bigger, much stronger. So when I wrestle I have to be aware of the weight difference and to know my positioning. Basically, strength and knowing your opponent are good to focus on.
Do you plan on wrestling in college?
I’ve talked to a couple schools — Washington and Lee is one —but if I have the opportunity, I do want to wrestle in college — either club or Division III.
Outside of wrestling, what are your hobbies and interests?
Band, jazz band, music, I play the bass. I’m taking physics right now.
Finally, what is some advice you would give to younger wrestlers, specifically on the Tower Hill team?
Definitely outside of season wrestling; going to camps, stuff like that. Because I never really got better during the season. It was always off-season when I would train, go to camps, go to clinics, and just being able to learn stuff and try stuff out outside of season. But basically wrestling all year round, always having that wrestling mentality. The more you wrestle, the more your body gets used to it. Right now, when I go out there, I don’t have to think—it comes naturally. I just go out there and wrestle.
Congratulations again, Jack!
Barbara Fleming is a Senior at Tower Hill School who loves sports and is interested in pursuing a business degree in college.