By Charlie Akers | BSU at the Games
Wrestler Jake Herbert watches his weight and what he eats like most athletes in his field. He does find some unique things to enjoy the most. He loves to drink juices and said “Naked” was his favorite. Most notably, he doesn’t go straight to the water fountain after working out to rehydrate. Instead, Herbert drinks coconut water because it rehydrates you better.
All this caution and weight watching helped Herbert claim a 149-4 record at Northwestern University, and of his four losses, three were as a freshman and the fourth was in the national championship his sophomore year. It’s a record he hopes to improve on this year at the Olympic Games when the 84kg weight class begins wrestling Saturday.
“I’m 27-years-young, and I’m getting bigger, stronger, and quicker everyday. I feel like I am starting to hit my stride,” Herbert said.
Herbert doesn’t just focus on his food intake when preparing for the wrestling mat either. He lifts three times a week and wrestles seven. Two days he plays handball, which he said can get violent with all the wrestlers trying to play.
When it comes to finding a weak spot in an opponents defense, Herbert said at this level most people don’t have one, but he has a strong spot — his offense.
“I attack, attack, attack until I score or till they break down. They can defend one attack, but they can’t defend 14 or 15. They don’t have the endurance or the mental stamina to do that,” Herbert said.
Herbert looks to stay aggressive in his matches hoping to push hard enough to make his opponents tired or force them into a mistake. He said he has a relentless attack that is hard for people to stop, and while his style hasn’t made him the favorite to win gold, that doesn’t bother him. He has been training hard and wants the gold, which requires toppling Sharif Sharifov from Azerbaijan.
And Herbert doesn’t plan to come home with anything less than the top spot on the podium. If that happens, Herbert may just be able to enjoy one of his food splurges, burgers and donuts.
Charlie Akers is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Charlie and the BSU team at @the8thKing,@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.