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Feb. 14, 2007

When the Virginia wrestling team travels to Maryland Friday, Cavalier senior Mike Grogan will put his current six-match win streak on the line. He is 19-5 overall this year, including an 8-2 record in dual matches and a perfect 4-0 mark against ACC opponents. You can catch Grogan and the Cavaliers in person Sunday at noon in Memorial Gym when they play host to third-ranked Iowa State.

Now, let’s go On the Mat with Mike Grogan

Question: Who is your favorite current UVa athlete?
Grogan: I’d have to say Chris Long because I love college football and he’s one of the better players on our team.

Question: Did you have a favorite college wrestler growing up?
Grogan: Not really, I wasn’t really near college wrestling when I was younger. I mostly followed high school wrestling teams.

Question: What’s your favorite wrestling move?
Grogan: Sweep Single. It’s a move where you shoot to the outside and grab one leg. Since I’m a longer type of wrestler, it’s easier for me to get to the outside and grab a leg.

Question: What has first-year coach Steve Garland brought to this program?
Grogan: He’s brought a whole new level of confidence to us when we’re out there on the mat and a lot of guys have picked up a lot more technique this year. He’s brought a lot of small intangible things to the team.

Question: What one thing has he taught you that you’ll keep with you when your career is over?
Grogan: Being able to apply my work ethic to different aspects of my life.

Question: Did you get to talk to any of the guys from the teams that won consecutive ACC championships back in the 70s?
Grogan: I talked to former coach (George) Edwards some. He’s come to my room and we’ve talked a couple times. As for the wrestlers, I talked to them for a couple minutes after the match, and actually during the match, but nothing much. They mostly wished me good luck and stuff like that.

Question: You were an ACC championship finalist in the 174-pound weight division last year. How excited are you for Mat Jams for your senior year?
Grogan: I’m really excited. The entire year kind of builds up into that one weekend. There’s a lot of pressure in it and everyone’s pretty excited to be there, so you’ve got to be able to pick up your intensity on that weekend.

Question: You’ve won six straight matches going into the meet against Maryland. Is there anything you’ve been doing that would attribute to your recent success?
Grogan: I think the technique that the coaches have taught to us over the year is finally starting to click. Personally, it’s been certain techniques with my feet and certain tie-ups and ways that I can dictate the match the way I want to wrestle as opposed to me sitting back and letting the other kid do what he wants to do.

Question: You moved up to the 184-pound weight division versus Duke because of injuries in the lineup. What’s the toughest part of wrestling in a higher weight division?
Grogan: The hardest part has to be adapting to the weight and the strength. You’re trying to hold someone down and he’s 15 pounds heavier than me on that day. I’m lighter so he can pick me right up. So trying to get good shots and finish on someone who’s that much stronger and bigger than you is a whole lot harder. I have to adjust your strategy, too. When I’m trying to wrestle a kid in a higher weight division, I have to stay more outside of him and try not to get their weight on top of me.

Question: What are your future goals?
Grogan: I’d like to go Law School. I don’t know where, but I’d like to stay somewhere in the South.

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