Just How Safe Is It to Cut Weight? Recent College Wrestlers' Deaths Has All Involved Concerned with Training and Weight Loss Methods

By Babcock, Patricia | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 16, 1998 | Go to article overview

Just How Safe Is It to Cut Weight? Recent College Wrestlers' Deaths Has All Involved Concerned with Training and Weight Loss Methods


Babcock, Patricia, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Patricia Babcock Daily Herald Sports Writer

To be perfectly honest, Donna Mapes wouldn't mind in the least if her son Matt never again stepped foot on a wrestling mat once his career at Dundee-Crown ended.

"I worry about him a lot now," she said. "But I would be a wreck if he wrestled in college. At the college level, wrestling is just so much more intense."

So much more intense, in fact, that rigorous training techniques used in an effort to cut drastic amounts of weight in mere hours may be to blame for the recent deaths of three collegiate wrestlers.

And that has people everywhere, from parents to coaches to wrestlers themselves, concerned about the safety of amateur wrestling in this country - at the collegiate level as well as in the high school and youth group ranks.

"The sport of wrestling has kind of gotten a black eye in the last few months," said Cary-Grove coach Dan Cysewski. "I love the sport a lot, but this concerns me."

In mid-December, University of Michigan wrestler Jeff Reese, 21, died during a workout the day before his first match of the season. An autopsy found that the 21-year-old junior perhaps succumbed to a "metabolic derangement" produced by the workout, in which he was trying to cut enough weight from his 158-pound frame to compete in the 150-pound class less than 24 hours later.

Reese's death came just weeks after a wrestler from Wisconsin-LaCrosse collapsed and died while wearing a rubber suit to shed weight. Officials have attributed 22-year-old Joe LaRosa's death to heatstroke.

Finally, back in November, Campbell College wrestler Billy Jack Saylor died of a heart attack while trying to lose six pounds before a meet. Witnesses said Saylor refused liquids after long, exhausting workouts for fear of putting on water weight.

Talk about intense.

"It's shocking to hear that three college guys died from (working out)," said Dundee-Crown wrestler Dominick Rodriguez. "What they were doing - trying to lose all that weight in one day - was just crazy. They were trying to do way too much too fast."

So that's that bad news ... make that the tragic news that has been dogging wrestling for the last few months.

Luckily, there has been some good to come out of these three deaths - mainly, a heightened awareness about the dangers of improper training.

"I've been wrestling since I was in second grade so I'm still going to train hard," said Cary-Grove wrestler Tim Loeffel. "But this has certainly made me more aware of what to watch out for."

Actually, high school coaches around here have done an admirable job of watching out for their wrestlers for years.

And the Illinois High School Association has certainly helped by levying many rules - like banning the use of rubber or plastic suits about 10 years ago and insisting that wrestlers weigh in at their desired playoff weight in at least half of their matches after Christmas - to help prevent accidental deaths caused by overtraining.

Meanwhile, many coaches like Cysewski and Dundee-Crown's Al Zinke insist on no-nonsense, all-natural training regimens in which they are able to closely monitor their athletes.

"There is a black mark against wrestling now, but weight cutting has always been a big part of the sport," Zinke said. "When done properly, there is no danger.

"First you've got to eat right. We work with our cafeteria and go over the menus to make sure our kids eat right. No processed meat, skim milk, no fries, stuff like that. We want them to keep eating but we want them to eat the right things.

"Then you've just got to work out hard. We have to constantly remind them that if they want to lose weight it takes time. And they shouldn't not eat, not drink or use the rubber suits to do it. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Just How Safe Is It to Cut Weight? Recent College Wrestlers' Deaths Has All Involved Concerned with Training and Weight Loss Methods
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.