Union male athlete of the month – February 2016

Junior Nick Zuena, 145-pound Wrestler

LEADER-Athlete boyUNION, NJ — Nick Zuena competes in the 145-pound weight class for Union High School’s wrestling team, and is one of three team captains. Zuena took 3rd place in his weight class at the Union County Tournament in mid-January, and has helped propel the team to a 6-4 record with a personal mark of 14-4. He started youth wrestling through the Union Wrestling Booster Club.

On the Farmers’ season so far
“I feel like the season’s started pretty good for me, personally, and the team. We’ve definitely gotten better the last couple of years I’ve been in high school. I think it’s because we’ve got more dedication coming from our kids, who actually want to do the sport, and they’re pushing more kids to get interested and try out for the team. I think our team can definitely win a district title this year.”

Why do you like wrestling?
“I started wrestling when I was 4. It’s a sport that I’ve loved my entire life. I like just being around a team that’s serious about it.”

Any standout moments yet for you?
“Not yet. It’s coming soon.”

How’s the 145-pound weight class?
“It’s probably one of the harder ones around. This last off-season I actually got surgery on my knee, and it was a lot harder to get down off of that. Monday through Saturday, I usually eat well, and then on Sunday I’ll have one cheat meal, while working out before school each day at Club Metro.” “I also go to my own clubs, for wrestling, to help stay on my diet.”

Role models in the sport
“I look up to one of the Olympic wrestlers, Jordan Burroughs, a lot for some of the things I do. For college teams I’ve always looked up to the Rutgers college team. If I play in wrestling, that’s where I’m planning to go. Their program has gotten really good.”

What you’re watching on Netflix?
“Right now, I’m watching ‘Blue Mountain State’ on Netflix. I’m enjoying it.”

If you won the lottery
“First, I’d spend it on me and my family. Next, I’d spend it on other things, to get better at training for wrestling. I’d still be a wrestler.”

Anything else?
“The two clubs that have always helped me out are the Yale St. Wrestling Club and Brawl House, in Mountainside. I benefit from the coaching that’s there. They’re pretty high-level with the wrestlers that come through.”