PHILADELPHIA -The University of Pennsylvania will have five wrestlers competing this weekend at the 2015 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Mo. Before the national tournament, they sat down to answer a few questions.
In his final competition for the Penn Wrestling program, Canaan Bethea will look to make his mark on the 197-pound field at the NCAA Championships. A two-time NCAA qualifier, Bethea recently earned runner-up at EIWAs.
Q: How long have you been wrestling? What are some of your earliest memories of the sport or reasons you got into wrestling?
A:I began wrestling on my family'sliving room rug at sixyears old -- roughly seventeenyears ago. With sixbrothers, we had more than enough wrestlers to have a wrestling tournament. My sisters would help score, and my mom would stop the matches if something broke or if someone was bleeding. With those being the only reasons to stop,wrestling matches would go all day because we had toomuch pride to give up.
Although I was already experienced, ijoined a wrestling team at 10 years old.
Q: Describe Your Wrestling Style.
A:I appoach wrestling matches like it's a big fight. I fight for every point, offensively and defensively.
Q: What is your all-time favorite wrestling memory?
A:My all-time favorite wrestling memory isn't even one from my own career. It waswatching my little brother, Raamiah, win the N.J. High School State Wrestling championship. All my siblings and Ihad been trying to win the state title for as long as I can rememeber. When Ray won,I and my eight siblingsjumped the railing which separates the fans from the wrestlers as we ran to the mat.It was by far the happiest moment of my life.
Q: What do you like best about being a Penn Wrestler?
A:I love the brotherhood. The teamhas become my family away from home. Although we come from completely different cultures, we have a lot of love andrespect for each other because we know how hard it is to compete on this level while also managingthis level of school work.
Q: If you could wrestle one wrestler from the past, who would it be and why?
A: In terms of my past,I generally don't hold grudges or have regrets. Winning is fun. I'd love to have won all of the matches that I have wrestled, but losinghas a functional benefit. I learned more from the matches that I lost than I did from the matches I won. I at least tried to give my all inevery match thatI wrestled;I don't have any matches that I want to wrestle again.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant on campus? What is your go-to order?
A:My favorite place to eat on campus is GiGi's Carribean Food truck. Outside of wrestling season, my favorite order is fried chicken wings, candied yams, and mac & cheese.
Q: What has been your favorite class at Penn? Why?
A:My favorite class at Penn has been "Positive Psychology". The class taught students what behaviors and attitudes lead to a positive well being. Everyone wants to be happy, this class teachesyou how. I still follow the tips I learned from this class.It's a must take class for all Penn students.
Q: Do you have any pre-match supoerstitions?
A:I pray before every match. I don't think it leads to me winning are losing, but people close to me sometimes tell me that I care about wrestling too much. It's my opportunity to remind God that no matter how much I care about wrestlingand whether I win or lose, God will always be number one in my life.
Q:What is your favorite TV Show?
A:When I was little,we weren't allowed to watch TV. I think that the discipline has paid off. I don't think I would have time to both watch TV and achieve everything I want to academically and athletically. However, I do sometimes like to watch NFL games when i have free time.
Q: What are you looking to do when you graduate?
A:I am looking to go to graduate school for clinical psychology.
Q: Describe your fellow Penn Wrestling NCAA Qualifiers in one sentence.
C.J. - sometimes it seems like he moves faster than light.
Lorenzo - spaghetti has nothing on him.
Brooks - flexibility to the 10th power
Celeb - work hard, win hard, and play hard.
You can catch Canaan and the rest of the Penn Wrestling NCAA qualfiers this week at the 2015 NCAA Championships March 19-21. Every match will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and WatchESPN in addition to coverage on ESPNU and ESPN. A full schedule can be foundhere.