Coming off a series of wins at home, Stanford’s wrestling team has dominated its opponents this season and currently sits just one game behind conference leaders Oregon State. The Stanford Daily’s Elizabeth Trinh sat down with fifth-year senior Garrett Schaner to discuss his season thus far and to reflect on his time on the Farm.
The Stanford Daily (TSD): How did you begin wrestling?
Garrett Schaner (GS): I started when I was eight years old. My brother and I were both really into dirt biking, and we both really wanted dirt bikes. Our dad told us that if we tried wrestling, he would get each of us a dirt bike, so we did. He got us dirt bikes, and we ended up wrestling.
TSD: Why did you choose Stanford?
GS: Actually, I didn’t really know about Stanford until my head coach now got the assistant coaching job out here. He had coached me through club since eighth grade, and then he got the assistant coaching job my sophomore year. He got the head-coaching job the following year and recruited me. I came out here and just loved it. On top of all the academic accolades, you can’t say “no” [to Stanford].
TSD: What would you say differentiates you from all the other wrestlers in collegiate wrestling?
GS: I don’t know what they all do, but I’d like to think that I’m way different from all of them. I ride a motorcycle and I like to take it up to the mountains. I love to hunt, and even if I’m just watching animals, I like to be in the outdoors really. I practice mindfulness. I meditate. I don’t know; I guess I just look for all the stranger ways to live my life.
TSD: What has been your biggest challenge of the season so far?
GS: My biggest challenge has been moving down a weight class. It’s been tough to maintain my weight. I like to think that I’m pretty good at cutting weight, but it’s been a big challenge. I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices and really pay attention to the way I’m living. I have to make sure I’m eating the right things at the right times. Overall, it’s been a good challenge. I think I’ve been able to grow a lot from it while shrinking.
TSD: What makes this season different?
GS: I came in with about seven guys in my grade. A few of them quit, and then three others stuck with it all the way up until last year. They didn’t redshirt. I was the only one who redshirted, so I’m the “old guy.” It’s been different because those guys were my real close friends on the team, so I’ve just been developing more friendships with a wider range of the team.
TSD: What has been your favorite wrestling moment?
GS: It was last year. I don’t know if you ever saw Dan Shear wrestle, but he won the Pac-12 last year wrestling the top-ranked kid. At the end of regulation, it was tied up, and I could just tell that he was ready to go. He looked back at the corner where I was by the coaches, and he just had this look in his eyes. He got me so excited because I could feel it then that he would win, and he did.
TSD: What are your post-graduate plans?
GS: My plan is to loaf for as long as possible. I’m kind of kidding. I plan to go to Europe from the end of May until October. I have a job working on a farm there in England. For the first half, I plan on just traveling. After that, I think I would like to get into ranching. There is a ranch in Colorado that I have been working on over the past summers.
That’s probably different from most other wrestlers. I would like to go out there and hopefully have maybe a decade getting my hands dirty, spending a lot of time in the wilderness, and working. I’m really interested in livestock, like bison. There are no plans really, but that’s where I’m hoping to go, and I think I can get there.
TSD: What has been your favorite memory on the Farm?
GS: My sophomore year, after a Friday practice, two other wrestlers, a friend of mine, and I loaded up a car at maybe seven at night. We got a couple headlamps and a couple bags of trail mix. We had two backpacks, and we went to Yosemite. We got there at close to one, and we started hiking. It got so icy that it was scary, but we made it.
We got to see the sun come up, and I was with all these good friends of mine. I remember we would hike, putting in all this work and sweating, and then we’d stop and freeze. We may or may not have huddled for warmth. On the way down, we took a nap on a rock, and this squirrel came up and stole the trail mix in our pockets. We also helped some girl, who fell and twisted her ankle. We took turns carrying her down the mountain. That’s the memory.
Contact Elizabeth Trinh at etrinh ‘at’ stanford.edu.