Manhattan High wrestler to represent Kansas at Fargo Nationals

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- For a second straight year, Manhattan High School senior wrestler Clayton Wilson will be representing Kansas at the Fargo Nationals--one of the biggest wrestling meets in the nation.

But how does a wrestler prepare for a meet that could change everythinhg?

"Nothing bad goes into my body," Wilson said. "(I have) workouts at 8 in the morning, and I have a little practice at night. Maybe another lift or another practice, so two to three practices a day and eating right."

"It takes a ton of discipline," said Danny Grater, Wilson's Team Kansas National coach. "It's not just what we do in the wrestling room here, it's training on their own. It's getting up and going on a run in the morning when maybe their buddies are all sleeping in.

"None of the partying, none of the staying out late, staying up late playing video games. It's almost what you see in today's kid, we're taking that away from them more or less, but they have to truly want to be committed."

If commitment means being ranked 11th in the nation, then Wilson's doing something right.

"I'm excited just because I like to compete versus the best in the state and I just want to bring that to the national level," Wilson said. "I want to be able to win a national title this year.

"We cleaned some stuff up and we know how close we've been," Grater said. "We've been in one-point matches with the top 5 guys in the country, and we've actually beat the number four guy in the country. We're right there, and he knows where he's at and he knows we can make that team and be on the top of the podium at the end of the day. This is the tournament where we say you go earn your college scholarship."

This is only Wilson's second year doing freestyle and Greco-Roman style wrestling. In high school and college, athletes compete in folkstyle.

One of the main differences between freestyle and folkstyle and Greco-Roman style is the ability to take an opponent down by striking at the legs.

According to Grater, Wilson already has some major college looks. But according to Wilson, that's a decision he wants to take his time on.

"I'm not too sure right now," Wilson said on where he wants to go to college. "Just where the best fit is for me, and where I see myself getting better and, hopefully, winning a national title in college."

Still, it's a decision Wilson knows he's earned the opportunity to make.

"Even though I know I'm competing against the best in the nation, I'd already put in all of the hard work to get there," Wilson said. "I'm doing all of this just to immensely prepare myself, so that I know I've worked harder than everyone else.

"All of the work's already put in, I've just got to go out and let it fly."

Wilson will be joined by former Manhattan High School teammate Jalin Harper. Harper is currently in Stillwater, Okla., already training with the Oklahoma State wrestling team.