KALISPELL — Four-time state champion wrestler Teegan Vasquez of Kalispell Glacier has added a national title to his already impressive résumé.
Vasquez captured the championship in the 132-pound weight class at USA Wrestling's Folkstyle Nationals, which was held March 31-April 2 at the UNI Dome at the University of Northern Iowa.
"I was just excited," Vasquez said. "I was just excited, just so happy to win a national title, I was just pumped, I was amped."
Although the high from winning state for the fourth time was great, Vasquez knew there was still more to accomplish.
"My mindset just kind of flipped where it was, I was like I had to win that like I have to go win nationals, like I gotta go do something greater," said Vasquez. "And so kind of just riding that wave, definitely my dad pushing me hard kind of being like, ‘Hey, we're gonna go win this like let's get ready,’ and just kind of believing in him, believing in myself, and just going and doing that."
When it comes to his dad’s influence, Vasquez knows he couldn’t be in the position he’s in without his support as a father and a coach.
"Having him there is such like a big, big deal. I mean, just having my coach that I've had for my whole life basically, my dad, my coach," said a grateful Vasquez. "So just having him there was a big support, and just knowing and trusting in my abilities that I can do what I can do because he's there and I'm there."
Vasquez's dad couldn’t have been happier seeing his son atop the podium at nationals for the first time after competing there the last three years.
"But to put that over the top and to get there means the world to me," said Rich Vasquez. "It was just such a great feeling but it's almost like a relief too, where you’re just like, ‘there,’ just to be honest, just to be like hey, that's where it's at you know."
After the recent success of his youngest son, Rich Vasquez, who has been the head coach at Kalispell Wrestling Club for the past 20 years, credits it all to the family community they’ve built.
"For us, family has been the key to everything on this deal and and that's why we started this," said Rich Vasquez. "And that's why we do what we do because we believe in that, it's not just my family, it's the KWC family, it's our community, we feel we look at it as a bigger thing.
And for the whole Vasquez family its about more than just wrestling.
"It's always that what's next, the next step, and like I said, wrestling to me is just a metaphor for life, and there's going to be those ups and downs," said Rich Vasquez. "And so where do we go from there and how do we keep pushing to get better? Not only just him, but as a club and as a community, you know, with the kids here. So those are things that we do every day we talk about that, and what kind of person you're going to be and so I'm super proud of who he is and who he's becoming."
Despite all the accomplishments, Vasquez continues to create more goals for himself and next up is planning to compete for a U20 World teams spot in Las Vegas.
"To have those goals in mind and to just say them every single day or just think about them every single day and just complete them is like a thing that everyone can do," Vasquez. "I mean, if you set your mind to it and you set a goal, you can go out there and complete it. I mean, never thought I was gonna win a national title and never thought I was gonna kind of be there, but just saying it, and saying it, and saying it, and finally going out there and completing it, is just crazy."