Knox senior Jaran Rutledge is the nation’s top-ranked Division III wrestler. The Register-Mail describes his training regimen and the competitive climate of this upcoming season.
Whenever Tony Islas put Jaran Rutledge through running drills last season, he wouldn’t accept halfhearted effort.
“All-Americans don’t jog,” Islas would say. That was the theme that the Knox College wrestling coach continually pounded into the heavyweight’s psyche.
“Coach said his goal for me last year was to be an All-American,” Rutledge said. “He’d say, ‘All-Americans don’t do this’ or ‘All-Americans don’t do that.’ Basically if I outworked everyone, they couldn’t beat me.”
The psychology paid off. The Mundelein native took third place at the Division III national championships and became the first All-American wrestler in school history.
But Rutledge isn’t satisfied yet. The Knox senior is aiming even higher this year as the top-ranked heavyweight in Division III.