By BRODY FELDMANN
Mustang’s Tate Picklo’s busy summer came to an end with a competition in Sofia, Bulgaria.
“It was awesome. I loved it,” Picklo said.
The soon-to-be junior flew to Bulgaria to compete for Team USA in the 2019 Cadet World Championships in Greco Wrestling.
The competition didn’t go as Picklo hoped, but he gained experience and came back to the U.S. with a win.
“It was definitely something that I will remember. The whole tournament aspect of it, like not placing like I wanted, wasn’t that big of a deal because I know the experience was definitely worth it,” Picklo said.
In his first international match, Picklo defeated his competitor from Estonia with an 8-0 technical fall.
Picklo dropped his second match to a competitor from Finland, who lost in the quarterfinals.
“I think the biggest thing was seeing the difference of wrestling from USA to internationally. Because in the USA, Greco isn’t the biggest sport. It is all about freestyle and the Kyle Schneiders.
“But once you get overseas, Greco is all they care about. Greco is where they put their best kids. So, to get the experience against the best kids in the world was eye opening,” Picklo said.
Even though the competition didn’t go the way Picklo hoped, he got to experience a different country and different culture with his two biggest supporters by his side, his mom and dad.
“That definitely helps because they have been the support for the entire time that I have been wrestling. So, to be able to go overseas and have them with me definitely helps,” he said.
The Picklo family had the opportunity to explore the area and try traditional food while in Sofia.
Gypsy taxi cabs tried to rob the Picklos, but as people around here know, this is not a family to mess with.
Picklo understands the magnitude of being able to represent his country and he didn’t take it for granted.
“It’s something that takes a little while to kick in. There were only 10 people in the entire nation that got to go, and I was one of them. That’s something to be proud of,” Picklo said.
He was teamed with nine individuals from 10 states and didn’t know any of them when they first got together.
But by the time the event was over, the nine members had grown a bond of best friends.
“I think the most fun part was getting to bond with the team. Before we left, I barely knew any of those guys. They are from nine different states, but by the end of the trip, we were all best friends. That was pretty cool,” he said.
Now Picklo turns his attention to his junior year of wrestling at Mustang High School and hopes to help his team bring home a state championship.
“Next for me is getting back in the room and getting the team on our goals to win state this year. We haven’t done it yet as a team. So, that is what I’m ready for next,” Picklo said.