Ryan Osleeb was already enjoying gymnastics when, at 10-years-old, he chose to pursue wrestling. Osleeb, who is now a North Salem senior, went into wrestling with the same desire and determination he had already displayed in gymnastics. He had just one problem - North Salem didnt have a wrestling program.
Fortunately, when Osleeb reached high school he had the opportunity to wrestle, practicing with the John Jay-Cross River team. Though he worked out with John Jay, Osleeb entered tournaments as an independent representing North Salem.
Four years later, Osleeb became a trailblazer and one of the most accomplished wrestlers in Section 1. He has won four Section 1 Division II titles, placed fifth in the state in his freshman and junior years and added the exclamation point to his career by winning the Division II 130-pound state title in February.
The Harvard-bound Osleeb concluded with a 104-15 record. Osleeb will major in Engineering and wrestle in the 133-pound weight class next year.
My parents wanted me to pursue something else to stay in shape, said Osleeb, of retiring from gymnastics. My uncle and cousin had previously wrestled, so I decided to try it. My ultimate goal was to be a state champion, but also set other goals like being a sectional champion and placing at states.
Osleeb won his state title in thrilling fashion. He secured a takedown in the final two seconds to post a 3-1 win over Patrick Hogan of Peru. Ironically, the two will be Harvard teammates. It is a moment Osleeb will cherish.
Winning a state title meant a lot to me, he said. It was the culmination of my long-term dedication and effort into the sport.
Osleeb did not go into wrestling looking to be a North Salem wrestler who accomplished the ultimate goal.
I hope that other North Salem students follow me into the sport of wrestling and they have, Osleeb said. Currently, we have a couple in high school and a couple in middle school.
Osleeb has learned many valuable lessons from wrestling that he has applied to his daily life.
Wrestling has had a significant impact on my life and will continue to do so beyond my final match, he said. Discipline, dedication and a relationship between effort and reward are only a few of the many lessons that the sport has taught me.
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