Dreams really do come true.
“It’s just a crazy feeling,” senior Jake Swartz said. “You put so much work into something and for it to finally come true—it’s all I could ever hope for.”
Swartz achieved his ultimate dream by becoming the 11th All-American in the past seven years for the Boise State wrestling team.
“It didn’t hit me till after the match,” Swartz said. “Easily the best feeling of my life.”
Swartz placed 7th at the tournament and now joins a long list of All-American wrestlers that have come through the program.
“It’s awesome to be able to put yourself next to guys like Kirk Smith and Adam Hall,” Swartz said. “I really set myself and my wrestling career where I wanted to be.”
The path to becoming an All-American didn’t come easily for Swartz. The previous three seasons, he came home empty-handed.
“When the round of 12 came up, all I could think about was last year and how I fell,” Swartz said. “But I told myself I wasn’t going to have any regrets and went out there and wrestled as hard as I could.”
It was especially difficult for him last season where he came a mere match away from placing.
“Anytime you get that close its going to haunt you for a while,” head coach Greg Randall said. “He got over that and I’m proud of him because I know he worked hard to get there.”
Despite the hardships and shortcomings, Swartz kept at it and it paid off in the biggest of ways.
“It was very satisfying as a coach seeing a guy like Jake, who becoming an All-American had escaped him his whole career, go out and become one,” Randall said. “I was so happy for Jake when he won that All-American match.”
In fact Swartz credits his disappointing experiences with helping him succeed this year.
“If I didn’t have last year’s experience I don’t think I would have become an All-American,” Swartz said. “That experience and that drive really pushed me through the tournament.”
Swartz also knew he had to make some changes to his wrestling if this tournament was going to be different.
“I wrestled different and took a lot more risks, going for things instead of holding back and waiting for opportunities,” Swartz said.
Swartz ended his career on a high note and loved every second of his time here.
“It’s been the best five years of my life and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Swartz said. “All the experience has led me to the person that I am today and I’m really grateful for the opportunity.”
Swartz attributes many people to his success such as his coaches and teammates but there is one that stands out more than the rest.
“My father is number one,” Swartz said. “He has been with me the whole time making sure I had everything I needed.”
To everyone who has a dream he has this to say.
“Hard work and dedication gets you where you want to go,” Swartz said. “If you put in the work you are going to get out what you want from it.”