Oct. 21, 2011
Upon placing third at last year's MAC Championships at 197 pounds, Mike Lukowski is aiming to move up this season and improve from his junior campaign. We caught up with Mike to ask him about the preseason, his thoughts on 2011-12 and the team's involvement in the community.
Q: What have you been doing during the offseason to prepare for the upcoming season?
Mike Lukowski: "Myself and the team, we have been working hard and training hard. (I've been) lifting a lot of weights, getting a lot stronger and getting more strength in my body. Conditioning wise, we're doing a lot of stadiums and circuits. I'm just getting my body prepared to wrestle and go for battle."
Q: Individually, is there anything you are trying to add to your repertoire this season?
ML: "Mostly just going on my attack. Going on the offense, don't just sit back and wait. I'm working to attack the legs and be more powerful."
Q: Being the top returning placer (third) from last year's MAC Championships, what expectations do you have for yourself this year?
ML: "I just want to win the MAC. That's all I'm concerned about. I'm a senior this year and I want to win the MAC and the team to win the MAC. That's all I've been thinking about how bad it felt to take third. I want to take first and that's what I'm gunning for."
Q: Do you use the fact that people overlook you in the conference as motivation?
ML: "It doesn't even bother me. Last year, I came in as a transfer and I didn't expect people to know anything about me. I wasn't ranked then and it didn't bother me then. I'm just gunning for first."
Q: Beating 2010 NCAA All-American Jarrion Beets of Northern Iowa last year, was that your highlight from last season?
ML: "I wouldn't say it was my highlight. Last season was a rollercoaster, up and down. Even though I finished third at the MAC Championships, I think I finished on a high note by coming from behind against a national champion in (Kent State's Dustin) Kilgore and (Ohio's Erik) Schuth, who was a three-time NCAA qualifier. I'm not mad about my finish, but I know I can definitely do better."
Q: What should people expect from this year's squad?
ML: "This year, we are really young. I expect us to come out and fight in every position. We're not going to give anything up and we're not going to quit. That's one thing I want to leave my mark here with these guys is to keep fighting and don't ever give up."
Q: With this year's team being so young, how has that changed your role as a senior leader?
ML: "Just being a senior leader and pushing these guys. They didn't know what to expect coming into college. We're pushing them and they're pulling through pretty well right now."
Q: How much is this team involved in the community?
ML: "We do a lot of community service all the time. We're pushing ourselves and our grades through community service. We have the (Victors) at the end of the year. Last year, we won the Huskie trophy, so we want to win that again."