Kaptivating Kidz: Triple Crown grappler dreams big

Kaptivating Kidz: Triple Crown grappler dreams big »Play Video
Travis Wittlake

Travis Wittlake, Jr. has really grown in the five years since we last met him.

"Actually last year I wrestled at 85 pounds at nationals at this same time," the Coos Bay sixth grader said. 

Now wrestling at 112-pounds, Wittlake is quite accomplished on the wrestling mat, just take a look at his record the past three years.

306-1.

A humble Travis knows plenty is to be learned from that one defeat.

"Losing, everybody loses. It's emotional and it's heartbreaking but you recover and come back."

The losses are few and far between and he is only the sixth kid to win back-to-back National Triple Crowns in 2010 and 2011 (freestyle, folkstyle and Greco-Roman) earning Travis the #1 future Olympian ranking by USA Wrestling...

"It's a big deal and it's really hard. It's pretty much the biggest award that kids can win."

Another honor for the grappler was being recognized at a tournament by one of college wrestling's all-time greats, Cael Sanderson, now the head coach of the NCAA National Champs from Penn State.

"I went up to ask him for an autograph and I told him thank you and he said my name and he actually knew me by my face and everything," Wittlake proudly stated.
     
If we check back in with Travis about five years from now, just where will he be?

"I hope to be a four-time state champ in high school and for college I want to go to Oregon State and be a four-time NCAA champ and then go to the Olympics. I have big things ahead of me."

Know of any sporty "Kaptivating Kidz" that need some recognition on KVAL? Drop us a line and tell us why a certain special little someone or team should get some time to shine in the spotlight.

For the past six years, KVAL Sports has been getting the best of the best from future stars on the field, court, track and every other sport imaginable.

You can contact Nick through e-mail, krupke@kval.com or facebook at Nick Krupke KVAL, or twitter @NickKrupke

Then tune in each Tuesday night on KVAL News at 5:00.