How much does a college heavyweight wrestler actually weigh?
Nowadays, competitors must tip the scales somewhere between 197 and 285 pounds. (The official name of the weight class is 285.)
In the first three decades of NCAA wrestling championships, the top weight class was called unlimited… because there was no upper weight limit. At least one big man who won a title between 1928 and 1960 weighed approximately 300 pounds!
That said, most college heavyweight champs of that era weighed in at less than 245 pounds, with a good number coming in between 210 and 220.
In a separate photo-album, College Wrestling Examiner posted the actual weights of the NCAA Division I heavyweight champs since 2000. Now, let’s go old-school… and take a look at the best big men of college wrestling to see what they weighed back in the day.
Why does this photo-list stop at the early 1960s? The time around 1960 was a major turning point in college wrestling… a time when innovation had a significant impact on the sport and its athletes. Among the innovations: foam-core mats (best known by the brand name Resilite)… the development of shoes specifically for wrestling (instead of wearing “sneakers” onto the mat)… the beginning of weight-training and weight lifting as part of a wrestler’s workout… and the start of greater diversity in wrestling, with African-Americans and wrestlers from Iran, Japan, Turkey and other nations starting to compete in U.S. colleges. All of these make for a natural line of demarcation in terms of looking at college heavyweight champs.
Wondering what other college heavyweight champs weigh? Check out College Wrestling Examiner’s photo-feature on the best big men of college wrestling since 2000. And watch for a future photo-features on champs from 1962-1999.
Want to know more? For more photos and info on the best of the big men of college wrestling, check out NCAA Heavyweight Champs Yahoo group honoring titlewinners, 1928-2000... and NCAA Heavyweight Champs 2 Yahoo group (champs from 2001-now).
About the photo on this page: An example of the difference in heft of heavyweight champs of the era. On the left, big, beefy three-time Oklahoma State heavyweight champ Dick Hutton (1947-48, 1950) who weighed 245 pounds... and, on the right, one of his major college rivals, 1949 champ Verne Gagne of University of Minnesota, 30 pounds lighter at 215.
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