Sophomore wrestler answered fans’ questions Tuesday on an online chat

COLUMBUS, Ohio Mike Pucillo, a sophomore on the 15th-ranked Ohio State wrestling team, held a live online chat Tuesday answering fans’ questions. Read a full transcript of his chat below.

Last year, Pucillo earned All-America honors in his first year with the Buckeyes, finishing sixth at the NCAA championships. The Cuyahoga, Ohio, native ended the season with a 26-5 overall record, including going 7-1 in the Big Ten during the regular season.

Pucillo and the Buckeyes play host to Rutgers in their 2007 home opener at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 in St. John Arena.  

Welcome to Mike’s chat. Please post your questions here.  

Mike is here so we will go ahead and begin.


What do you think about the attention that WWE wrestling gets? Do you think that hurts collegiate and competitive wrestling and takes away at how difficult it is for you to compete?


Well Dan, I don’t think it takes away from college wrestling because it’s its own sport. Growing up people always thought of the WWE when I told them I was a wrestler. It is true that people don’t understand how difficult it is to train at the level we are training at now.


What’s your training like? How many days, how long?


Our training is high intensity. Most the time it is shorter than a high school practice but 10 times more intense. We usually get Sundays off and two to three times a week, depending on when we compete, we do two-a-days. A typical high school practice is two and half hours long where a college practice is usually an hour.


What’s the most difficult part of wrestling? Do you get to eat whatever you want?


The most difficult part is the training. We ‘live wrestle’ on the mat so it’s like we are competing everyday. The amount of effort we put into every practice builds up. But it’s all worth it when you get your hand raised on the mat. Haha, if I could eat whatever I want I would be 270 pounds. When I’m in season it is hard for me to stay on the right path of eating healthy.


Growing up did you know any girl wrestlers?


I didn’t personally know any girls but I did wrestle a few when I was younger.


How did you get in wrestling? Do you play any other sports?


My dad was a wrestler and he started me when I was five years old. He wrestled in high school and a little in college and liked it so that what he started me in. Growing up I was real big into baseball and traveled around the country to Iowa and Florida to play in little league tournaments.

Andy:Delta, Ohio:  

What makes you a tough competitor? What motivates you to stay so disciplined?


The biggest thing is that I hate to lose more than I like winning. If I don’t wrestle well or compete at the level I should it drives me crazy.


What were you thinking when you earned All-America honors last year?


I was thinking I should have placed higher, I should have won it.


What’s the best part of home meets? What do you like about traveling?


The best part of home meets is you are competing in front of your fans and they are always behind you. When you get a big win the fans get into it so it can be really exciting.


My favorite part of traveling is the opposite. Their crowd is really into for them and I like to silence the crowd.

Katie:Upper Sandusky:  

What’s your training schedule during the offseason?


I like to take is easy in the offseason and rest my body. Last summer I went to the Olympic Training Center for a week. We worked out with the World Team members and it was fun. We ran up this mountain which was tough because the air is already thin in Colorado Springs, Colo. We also run a camp here in Columbus for four weeks so I’m training then too.


During the offseason, does your diet change or do you keep to a strict diet all year long? What steps do I have to take to become a collegiate wrestler?


My diet changes. During the wrestling season my portions are smaller and I stay away from fast food. But during the offseason I live on fast food. The jump you have to make to become a college wrestler is the attitude. No matter what, you have to go out believing you will win and compete each day.


What’s the biggest misconception about your sport?


The biggest misconception is that all wrestlers cut a lot of weight and wear trash bags. Sometimes people wrestle better with extra weight.


Where’s the most interesting place you have competed at?


I wrestled in Austria and Germany for two week when I was on this U.S. team when I was in the ninth grade. There were wrestlers from Italy and Russia competing there too.  

That’s it for Mike, thanks for all the questions.