Chandler Strand moves deliberate and confidently in everything he does.
The 5-foot-3 Herriman senior carries a 3.7 grade-point average in the classroom and is capable of carrying his opponents straight into the matt for the pin. He’s confident because he does the work to prepare himself for the task at hand.
“It’s a one-on-one sport, but you still have to push your teammates,” Strand said about wrestling. “You can only get better if you push and challenge each other to do your best. That’s what I bring to Herriman.”
Strand, a two-time Class 4A state champion at 106 pounds, made the jump to 120 for his final year.
“I got a lot of respect for winning as a sophomore beating a senior,” Strand said. “I knew I had to live up to that challenge because I’d be a target next year.”
Strand said he is at his best when he trusts his instincts. He believes wrestling is 90 percent mental and that having the confidence to do whatever it takes to hold on for the victory makes the difference.
“If you know you can beat a kid, you will win,” he said. “I’ve beaten guys 30 pounds heavier than me in practice because I know I can push myself further. I know I can do it.”
All of Strand’s high school losses to date have been by points. Strand is proud that he never has been pinned during his high school wrestling career.
Herriman coach Steve Bowdren said Strand’s ability to wrestle from the neutral position makes him a dangerous grappler, and his contribution to the team has improved the program.
“He’s best on his feet,” Bowdren said. “He leads by example and is vocal during practice to motivate the other wrestlers. He finds a way to contribute every day.”
• Took third at the Reno Tournament of Champions
• Wants to wrestle at the United States Air Force Academy and pursue a career as a pilot
• Has been wrestling since he was 5. He jokes that his parents put him in the program because they were tired of him tearing up the house