STILLWATER, Okla. — • Editor’s Note: Over the next two weeks, The Stillwater NewsPress will highlight current and former Oklahoma State wrestlers who will be taking part in the U.S. World Team Trials, which will be held in Stillwater June 21-23 at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The NewsPress highlights former Cowboy wrestler Obenson Blanc.
Obenson Blanc is a familiar face to the Team USA wrestling program.
A member since 2009, the former Oklahoma State wrestler who is referred to as Obe, has set himself up to continue his quest when he takes part in the U.S. World Team Trials, which will be held in Stillwater June 21-23 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Blanc recently won his second national title at 55 kilograms at the U.S. Open to reach the finals at the World Trials.
“I’m wrestling very, very well right now and I hope it keeps getting better heading into the world championships because I’m pretty confident and pretty sure that I’ll make the world team. I’m going to do everything in my power to at least make that happen,” Blanc said.
While Blanc, 28, has been part of Team USA since 2009, where he had a team ranking as high as No. 3 at 55 kg in 2011-12, he is still looking to make a push for an Olympic team berth. He’s hoping that journey could start in Stillwater, in front of the same fans that cheered for him when he compiled a 30-10 record in his only competition year at Oklahoma State.
“It’s pretty exciting. For a lot of us who wrestled in Gallagher-Iba, we thought our senior match was our last match we’d wrestle here and to get another chance to compete in this arena and try to make the world team is something special,” Blanc said. “... I want to give those fans what they want to see, which is a guy that wrestled here and see him get to the next level. That’s my goal, to give to the fans and to myself.”
The native of Naples, Fla., competed at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania for three years before joining the OSU program in 2007 — and competing in the 2008-09 season. But while he spent just two years on the Stillwater campus, just one wearing an OSU singlet in competition, he still considers Oklahoma State the place to be to further his wrestling career.
Since graduating, Blanc has stayed in Stillwater to continue working with the OSU coaching staff on his aspirations of international competition.
“It’s one of the reasons I transferred to Oklahoma State, to be a part of a program that can compete at the highest level,” Blanc said.
“I wanted to be a part of that and learn from the wealth of knowledge — and trust me, there is no lack of it here.
“I’m learning every day from everyone on staff and it makes it fun. It makes it fun to keep wrestling and you’re always learning every day.”
With that, he’s been alongside Coleman Scott, who won a bronze medal for Team USA in the London Summer Games. And Blanc agrees with the notion that success breeds success.
“Anytime you see somebody do well like Coleman, you always want to copy that or reach that same success,” Blanc said. “To get to train with Coleman and know him as well as I do, it was cool to see him go through all that and achieve what he has. Now it’s like, stay on the same path, do the same thing and try to recreate success.”