Previously ranked No. 2 in the nation, MSUM senior wrestler Corey Ulmer achieved his season goal by taking the No. 1 spot from Kyle Pedretti of Upper Iowa University.
When he was about 5 years old, Ulmer started youth wrestling.
“It started out with my mom dropping me off at youth wrestling practice for something to do because all my friends were doing it,” Ulmer said.
In middle school, Ulmer became serious about wrestling, working during the off season and attending camps every summer. It was during his sophomore year in high school when Ulmer saw all his determination pay off.
“My proudest moment from high school wrestling was winning my first state title as a sophomore,” Ulmer said. “I won state as a sophomore and a junior, and then took second as a senior.”
Before graduating from Ashley-Wishek High School, Ulmer was also named Mr. Wrestler of the year in 2007. After coming to MSUM, Ulmer was named team rookie of the year. He went on to lead the Dragon wrestling team for three seasons, two of which he qualified for the National Championships.
Ulmer admits college wrestling takes more than skill. Dedication plays a huge role.
“We have an extremely long season that goes from September to March,” Ulmer said. “We have practice five times a week, usually more, depending on morning and weekend practices, which are just the scheduled ones. Smart weight cutters will get in extra workouts to keep their weight down. Doing that over an extended period of time, throwing in school and staying in on the weekends can wear you out mentally.”
Ulmer found success in his dedication during his match against Upper Iowa wrestler Kyle Pedretti. Pedertti’s final attempt at a takedown wasn’t enough to surpass Ulmer’s points from a penalty and escape. The match ended close, with only nine points being scored, five of which went to Ulmer in a final 5-4 decision.
“It felt awesome knowing I would be the new No. 1 guy in the country,” Ulmer said. “That’s the match I had been working hard for all year, so it felt pretty cool to get that win.”
Ulmer’s win at the final home match against Southwest Minnesota State ended his home career, but he will continue to train and compete in the NCAA Regional tournament.
“I’m preparing for regionals the same way I prepared for every other match I had this year,” he said. “Get my weight down early this week so it’s not an issue come Sunday and continue to work hard and improve in practice.”
Ulmer also supports his teammates. He knows that doing well at regionals will bring them closer to achieving their goals.
“Jake Bennett is a captain this year and has the most insane work ethic I have ever seen,” Ulmer said. “He will be/is an excellent leader.”
Ulmer will travel with the rest of the team to the regional tournament where he hopes to become NCAA II Champion and finish the season as an All-American.
“It’s something I’ve been working my whole life to accomplish; nobody can understand how much time I’ve put into this,” Ulmer said. “Win or lose, this has been an amazing experience, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity.”
Though the end of his college wrestling career is drawing near, the exercise science major doesn’t plan to stop wrestling.
“Wrestling will never leave my life, and I want to get into coaching sometime,” he said. “Also, the last 2 years out of wrestling season, I have been training in Mixed Martial Arts, so I plan on doing that.”
The NCAA Division II Super Regional will be held on Sunday in St. Cloud, Minn. with matches beginning at noon.
BY JANAE BOSWELL