By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Gilbert Urbina, 17, is one of the best wrestlers in the state of Texas. As a sophomore at Weslaco East, Urbina finished fifth in the state tournament in the Class 5A 170-pound weight class. For the past week, Urbina is learning from some of the best wrestlers as he is participating in the Oklahoma State University Intensive Wrestling Camp.
Some of the Cowboys greatest wrestlers are helping with the camp that ends Tuesday, including two-time NCAA champion Jordan Oliver and Obe Blanc, who recently qualified for the World Team. Urbina said it was neat getting to hear from Oliver and Blanc.
“They took the time out to teach us technique and their favorite moves,” Urbina said. “You can add those moves to your moves and get better as a wrestler.”
Campers also get to stay on campus and use the same facilities the Cowboys use. On Monday, they will compete in a tournament. All that plus the instruction doesn’t come cheap — the camp costs $1,000. Thanks to the support of family and friends, Urbina was able to attend.
“I’m pretty grateful,” Urbina said. “It was nice to have the community support me.”
This wrestling camp isn’t just about learning some new moves. Campers’ days began at 6:30 a.m. and end at 11 p.m. During that time, they have conditioning and strength exercises. Urbina said he had to run seven miles Thursday morning and run bleachers. The high school junior said he enjoys the work.
“It’s intensive,” Urbina said. “I really like it because you get to train with the best wrestlers.”
Urbina said the amount of conditioning took some time to get used to.
“I’m really sore,” Urbina said. “As the days go by you catch on to the routine. It’s pretty intense.”
Campers are from all over the United States, with some who are from out of the country. Urbina said it’s been fun getting to know his fellow campers.
“A lot of the guys are really cool,” Urbina said. “Everyone is from different places. One of my roommates is from Guam. Another is from Hawaii. Getting to train with these guys and meet them is pretty cool.”
Weslaco East finished in the top five of its district. Urbina hopes he can use the skills he learned at OSU and help his team next season.
“I learned a lot of drills that I can go over at home,” Urbina said. “I can keep working on moves. The work ethic I learned here will definitely stick with me.”