Grappling with success: a look at Jason Chamberlain off the mat

Grappling with success: a look at Jason Chamberlain off the mat

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Cody Finney / The Arbiter

Senior Jason Chamberlain was born to wrestle. He has been dominating opponents on the mat since he could lace up his shoes. Now as an accomplished senior, his illustrious amateur career is coming to a close.

He began wrestling at a young age in his hometown of Springville, Utah; setting a strong foundation and building the skills to set him up for success.

“It was first grade in our little kids club,” Chamberlain said. “We had handouts at school that I took home and I asked my parents…I had a knack for it. My dad coached me at the time and he took notice that I picked up things faster than the other kids.”

By the time Chamberlain reached high school, he was already on another level compared to his competition.

Chamberlain cruised through the high school ranks, accumulating a 191-2 career-win record (setting the current Utah state record), four state championships, USA Utah “Wrestler of the Year” in 2007, USA Wrestling Junior National Freestyle champion and Greco-Roman runner-up in 2007, National High School Coaches Association wrestling national champion in 2006 and 2007 and the Asics Wrestler of the Year in 2008.

But what Chamberlain seemed most proud of was his 2008 Dave Schultz High School Excellence National Award that selects an outstanding wrestler with phenomenal character that contributes greatly back to the community while having outstanding grades.

“They flew me out to the wrestling hall of fame in Stillwater, Okla. I gave a speech at the hall of fame and accepted my award. It was a really cool experience,” Chamberlain said about receiving the award.

Coming out of high school, Chamberlain was recruited as one of the best prospects in the nation, getting calls from wrestling powerhouse schools such as Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Iowa State, Nebraska and Cornell.

So, why did Chamberlain choose Boise State?

“I could see their program growing and it was really appealing to me. I wanted to be a part of a program that was building and that was on the rise, instead of going to a program that has always been traditionally good,” Chamberlain said.

Chamberlain struggled early in his career at Boise State, but now as a redshirt senior, Chamberlain is ranked No. 2 in the NCAA in his weight division. Chamberlain has won the Pac-12 championship twice in his career as a Bronco and finished third in the NCAA tournament as a junior.

In his redshirt senior year, Chamberlain took a year off from wrestling in the NCAA and competed in the 2012 World University Games where he gained international competing experience.

“Wrestling at that level last year really helped me,” Chamberlain said on the World University games.

Chamberlain’s goal for his last year at Boise State is a simple one.

“I want to be a national champion,” Chamberlain said.

As the 2012-13 season comes to an end and the Pac-12 and NCAA tournament right around the corner, Chamberlain is one of the favorites in his weight division to win it all.

After college, the wrestling won’t stop for Chamberlain as he looks to compete for a spot on the USA Olympic team; his lifetime goal as a wrestler.

“Wrestlers, they would die to go to the Olympics. That’s their whole dream. I’ve dreamt of being an Olympian since I’ve been six or seven years old,” Chamberlain said.

While the future of wrestling is in jeopardy for the 2020 Olympics, one thing is certain: Chamberlain has the skill set and motivation to possibly represent the USA Olympic team as a Boise State alumni in 2016. Keep your eye on Chamberlain.

With the National Championships nearing, Chamberlain will be in the spotlight, looking to put a cap on a historic career.