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Streck’s Charge: Rewriting the Script of Collegiate Wrestling

Watch pretty much any heavyweight wrestling match on the collegiate level and you get the same thing. A bunch of shoving and pushing, with very few – if any — takedowns and not much scoring.

And then there’s a Shawn Streck heavyweight bout.

Constant motion and movement. A single leg shot here. A snap-down, run-around there. Points are scored, usually in a frenzied flurry of take ‘em down and let ‘em up just so it can happen again.

That’s the Streck style and it works.

The Central Oklahoma senior is a two-time All-American and the defending national champion. He enters this week’s NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships in Wichita, Kan. with a 15-1 record and has averaged 17.3 points – 17.3 points! – in the 15 matches that have gone the distance.

That’s a bunch of takedowns, 75 to be exact. The agile, quick-moving 260-pounder has tallied at least five takedowns in 14 of his 16 matches this season.

Streck has 14 bonus-point wins, including a school-record-tying 11 technical falls. Amazingly, seven of those tech falls have been by the same score – 19-4, each of them having ended in the second period.

“I think I’ve led the team in takedowns on every team I’ve been on,” said Streck, who has competed at heavyweight since the sixth grade. “It was really instilled by my first club coach, so that’s the style I was brought up on. That’s just the way I wrestle. I’m aggressive and like to score points.”

It’s been successful strategy throughout his career.

A highly-decorated prep standout at Merrillville (Ind.) High School, Streck started his college career at Purdue. He redshirted his first year in 2016-17, then won 30 matches and was a Division I national qualifier the following season while leading the Boilermakers in takedowns.

Streck left Purdue and was out of wrestling for a couple of years before moving to Stillwater in 2019 to train in the Cowboy Wrestling Club Regional Training Center. And then, in the winter of 2021, he opted to return to college at UCO.

“One of my coaches in Stillwater is a good friend of Coach (Todd) Steidley’s and he kept telling me that I needed to go to UCO,” Streck said. “He said ‘They’re good people, it’s a great program. You should go back to school.’

“I went home for Christmas and was telling my family about it and they said I should do it. They told me it would be a good idea to finish school and wrestle on a team.”
It’s been a perfect match for both parties.

Shawn enrolled for the spring semester in 2022, began working out with the team after the Christmas break and made his debut in late January. There was an early adjustment period, but Streck made an immediate impact.

“I hadn’t wrestled folkstyle in a while, so I had to work on that,” said Streck, who had trained in freestyle while with the Cowboy Wrestling Club. “It was a new city, a different environment, but I enjoyed it once I got here…

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