By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Last season, then-junior Alan Gelogaev was having a career year as he was 24-0 after returning from injury and was in the hunt for an NCAA title in the 285-pound weight class. In February that all changed.
In a match against Oklahoma, Gelogaev tore his right pectoral muscle and was out for the rest of the season.
“It was very frustrating,” Gelogaev said. “It’s just hard to get back. You went through the whole season, then at the end, snap it was over. It didn’t feel good at all.”
This season, Gelogaev hopes to return to championship form.
“It’s going to take awhile,” Gelogaev said. “I should feel well by February. That’s when I need to feel good. I’m just going to take it step-by-step to a national championship.”
Two seasons ago, Gelogaev injured the same muscle but on the left. The then-junior earned a medical redshirt. In 2012, Gelogaev split his first two matches as he won against Penn but lost by decision against Minnesota. Coach John Smith said his senior heavyweight was timid in the early matches.
“Anytime you have the injuries he had, both of them happening to his shoulders, you’re a little timid,” Smith said. “A little bit nervous about how hard you can go. I think he’s still a little bit timid. I think as the season grows, we will hopefully see him wrestle better and better with confidence he’s going to be healthy.”
Before getting injured, Gelogaev scored 16 bonus points, eight falls, three technical falls, five major decisions and nine wins over ranked opponents. The senior heavyweight was ranked as high as second. It took about seven months for the Gelogaev to rehab. The senior from Moscow, Russia, said the frustating thing about his injury was knowing the hard work he put in to return last season.
“The first time you were like OK I did it,” Gelogaev said. “Then the second time you knew exactly what it was going to take. It’s coming along.”
Gelogaev has won his last five matches, including two by major decision. Gelogaev said he is progressing.
“(The wins) were pretty good,” the senior wrestler said. “We put a lot of effort into building large leads to beat those teams.”
Smith said he’s noticed Gelogaev’s shoulder is getting stronger.
“When you have surgery on your shoulder, it really shrinks the area around your shoulder,” Smith said. “One thing I’ve noticed is a lot of the size has come back since he has been training the last four months. That’s a good sign to see the size and the muscle area starting to develop. It can help prevent reoccurence of that injury.”