In an age of increasing specialization it's one thing to be a multisport athlete.
It's another to be a multisport athlete -- in the same season.
Brainerd's Nate Rubin finds a way to wrestle for the Warriors and box for the Golden Lakes Club. On Friday the sophomore wrestled his way into the semifinals of the 38th annual Paul Bunyan Invitational at Brainerd High School.
If anybody can pull off such a feat it appears to be Rubin, who has been wrestling for 12 years, boxing for four.
He already has won a Junior Olympic boxing title, two straight Silver Gloves state titles and twice has qualified for the national boxing tournament.
As an eighth-grader, he was an All-Central Lakes Conference wrestler.
Brainerd Dispatch/Clint Wood
Rubin, who wrestles and boxes at 125 pounds, conceded it's difficult to do both. There are days he wrestles in a tournament and boxes at night.
"Usually, after wrestling practice, I go to boxing practice," he said. "I go home, eat quick, then head out to boxing practice usually.
"It's pretty tough. I can't go to some boxing meets, sometimes I don't go to wrestling. This year I'm focusing on wrestling."
The two sports do complement each other, however.
"When I do the running for boxing it helps my wrestling a lot," Rubin said. "When I do the wrestling it helps me out for boxing. Running is the big thing."
Warriors coach Bob Brakke agrees the sports complement each other.
"They're great endurance sports," Brakke said. "They require quickness, the ability to fake, duck, move. Those are definitely strengths of Nate's on the wrestling mat as well as boxing.
"The end part is something a little different because I think you're using so much more strength in wrestling than you are in boxing. (Boxing is) a different type of endurance, a different type of strength, but I think they still complement each other pretty well."
Brakke agrees that competing in two sports in the same season can be contradictory.
"Your love is divided," he said, "and sometimes as a kid that's a tough thing. You feel loyal to one, you feel loyal to the other. Sometimes it can be confusing which one you want to do, which one your heart belongs to.
"I don't know how that has affected his boxing. He's only a sophomore. As a ninth-grader it affected his wrestling a little bit, competing the same time as wrestling matches, so there's always a little conflict there.
"As a coach I want to give him the best opportunity to win in wrestling. I would be disappointed if he misses wrestling to box, but at the same time I can't blame him. My heart is with him on that."
Brainerd Dispatch/Clint Wood
In addition to Rubin, 11 other area wrestlers qualified for Saturday's semifinals.
Brainerd's semifinal entrants included Kyle Dukowitz (145) and Ryan McKay (275).
Pierz semifinalists were Hank Virnig (119), Kyle Bednar (119), Jon Andres (135), Nick Gruber (145), Kyle Girtz (160), Cody Luberts (215) and Matt Mrnak (275).
Staples-Motley's semifinalists were Jordan Olsen (171) and Cory Detloff (215).
Mike Bialka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5861.
Paul Bunyan Invitational
Friday team scores -- 1-Grand Rapids 57, 2-Pierz 54.5, 3-Foley 52.5, 4-Scott West 49, 5-Bemidji 42, 6-BOLD 30, 7-Brainerd 29, 8-Staples-Motley 28.5, 9-Becker 28, 10-Burnsville 28, 11-Frazee 26.5, 12-Sauk Rapids-Rice 24, 13-St. Cloud Tech 21.5, 14-Amery, Wis., 20.5, 15-Breckenridge 14, 16-St. Cloud Apollo 6, Andover 4
Brainerd results Friday
103 -- Kurt Ehrhorn (GR) pinned Andrew Wachsmuth 3:53
112 -- Tyler Jensen pinned Eric Gunderson (Burns) 1:54, Tony Valek (SW) dec. Jensen 6-4
119 -- Evan Warnert (SR) dec. Nick Lingwall 6-4
125 -- Nate Rubin pinned Mark Mueller (Apollo) 1:03, Rubin dec. Robert Koranda (Becker) 1-0
130 -- Alex Johnson (Breck) dec. Jake Patnode 5-1
135 -- Nick Loreno maj. dec. Brent Puffe (Bem) 11-1, Jon Andres (Prz) pinned Loreno 1:08
140 -- Kerry Lockrem (Frz) tech. fall Josh Virnig 4:00
145 -- Kyle Dukowitz pinned Jeremy Loch (Apollo) 1:43, Dukowitz dec. Mike Fouquette (Fol) 11-4
152 -- Jake Sailer (Frz) dec. Mitch Yager 2-1 ot
160 -- Dave Bjorkstrand (Burns) pinned Dave Thomas 1:16
171 -- Adam Hahnert pinned Jake Lundgren (Amery) 1:32, Trent Squibb (BOLD) dec. Hahnert 5-3
189 -- Dan Sorby (Bem) pinned Grant Jaeche 4:26
215 -- Open
275 -- Ryan McKay pinned Paul Borresch (SR) 1:59, McKay dec. Tyler Nyberg (SW) 5-3
Pierz results Friday
103 -- Paul Dvorak (SW) pinned Robert Gruber 3:41
112 -- Spencer Beech (Breckenridge) dec. Tanner Tetrick 8-1
119 -- Hank Virnig pinned Rique Karsten (Breckenridge) :54, Virnig pinned Evan Warner (SR) 1:55
125 -- Kyle Bednar pinned Mickey Ryder (GR) 1:24, Bednar pinned Mike Bump (Amery) 3:11
130 -- Ben Anderson (Frz) pinned Isaac Gruber 4:46
135 -- Jon Andres pinned Tony Foehrenbacher (SR) 1:03, Andres pinned Nick Loreno (Brd) 1:08
140 -- Scott Jansen pinned Nathan Lewis (SW) 2:41, Andy Johnston (Tech) dec. Jansen 10-5
145 -- Nick Gruber pinned Tyler Phelps (And) 5:13, Gruber dec. Greg Colosey 15-12
152 -- Nathan Britz pinned Brian Reed (And) 1:24, Jacob Roberts (SW) maj. dec. Britz 12-2
160 -- Kyle Girtz maj. dec. Nate Bertsch (Tech) 12-3, Girtz tech. fall Wade Cruser (SR) 5:58
171 -- Trent Squibb (BOLD) dec. Mark Lust 4-1
189 -- Mark Pietig (BOLD) dec. Jerron Boser 8-7
215 -- Cody Luberts dec. Mike Hopkins (Becker) 9-6, Luberts dec. Scott Forseth (Bem) 4-3
275 -- Matt Mrnak dec. Jon Linn (Fol) 10-5, Mrnak pinned Carlos Patino (Becker) 2:12
Staples-Motley results Friday
103 -- Clayton Authman (Apollo) dec. Devin Becker 6-2
112 -- Trent Carlson tech. fall Spencer Collin (Bem) 16-0, Andrew Lockrem (Frz) tech. fall Carlson 4:51
119 -- Open
125 -- Open
130 -- Jake Jaeckels (Fol) maj. dec. Bryan Miles 13-4
135 -- Jimmie Nelson pinned Cody Kisor (Becker) 1:53, Derrik Orth (Tech) tech. fall Nelson 5:23
140 -- Greg Stumvoll (Fol) tech. fall Derek Hopp-Brown 2:24
145 -- Duff Brown pinned Tyler Mullenbach (Amery) 4:35, Riley Holub (Becker) pinned Brown 1:43
152 -- Matt Brauer (Burns) pinned Matt Hoemberg 3:10
160 -- Open
171 -- Jordan Olsen pinned Andrew Hise (GR) 3:51, Olsen maj. dec. Ryan Cameron (Tech) 11-2
189 -- Jeremy Nelson (Becker) dec. Haken Binek 17-12 ot
215 -- Cory Detloff pinned Tyler Aho (Frz) :44, Detloff pinned Derek Anderst (SR) 1:11
275 -- Mark Tollefson dec. Ted Persing (And) 7-5, Chris Miller (Bem) pinned Tollefson 1:25
Next meet -- Paul Bunyan Invitational wrestlebacks 10 a.m., semifinals 2 p.m., finals 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
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