The Daily Pennsylvanian asked Penn wrestler Cole Urbas 15 questions about wrestling, his time at Penn, and life overall. Here's what the sophomore had to say.
1. Can you introduce yourself?
I'm Cole Urbas. I'm from State College, Pa., that's where I went to high school. I'm 20 years old and I'm a sophomore this year, but I'm currently taking a gap semester. I'm in the Wharton School and I'm concentrating in finance.
2. Why did you choose Penn over other wrestling programs?
When I visited Penn on my official visit, I got the chance to meet some of my future teammates, and I really just felt like the culture here was right for me. The guys just made me feel at home and I also really connected with the vision that coach Reina and the rest of the coaching staff had for the program, and I felt like I wanted to be a leader in that movement.
3. How have you balanced athletics with academics and personal time?
Just staying busy, being organized, keeping a calendar. Academics and wrestling come first, and then once I'm done with all that if I have any free time then I'll see if I have any options to hang out with friends.
4. What's it like to be training with your Penn teammates again?
It's so great to be back as a team. It is an individual sport, but it's still so much better to be as a team because we have this shared vision together of where we're gonna be next year and in the coming years as a program, so it's fun to inspire each other in the room.
5. What's your favorite food place on campus?
There's a lot. It's gotta be Billy's food truck right outside the Palestra.
6. What is your earliest wrestling memory?
Probably just me and my brother wrestling on the living room floor with my dad, just scrapping. Those were the days.
7. If you could have dinner with any three living people, who would you pick?
Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, and Tom Brady.
8. Last season you got to wrestle No. 1 Penn State back home. How was that experience?
It was great to be back in my hometown. It meant everything to hear cheers from the crowd whenever I walked out on the mat, just feeling welcomed in my community. I had grown up going to those matches, I had season tickets every year. You see the same people in the stands every year, and from wrestling in my hometown people just know me in the wrestling community there, so it was really cool to be wrestling in front of them.
But it was weird because whenever you're there you're always envisioning yourself as the "good guys" on the left side of the mat, and then you walk out for your first time and you're on the right side so it's like "Oh, I didn't even think about these guys".
9. What's something people wouldn't guess about you when they first meet you?
I'm a self-taught piano player.
10. Although Nationals was ultimately canceled, what did it mean to you to qualify as a freshman?
That was great, I'm very honored and blessed to have been in that position. It means everything to me. Achieving these goals that I set for myself, it just feels like that's a good way to use your time, achieving things. So making it to NCAAs, which was my goal freshman year, felt great.
11. What is your favorite team tradition?
Gotta be partner dodgeball. It's a game we play before every practice and competition. It's you and your partner against all the other duos in the room, and it's kind of like a free-for-all in that way. You have two dodgeballs, and if you get hit you go down to your knees and you can't move. The last duo standing wins. It gets really heated.
12. If you were stuck on the side of the road, which teammate would you call for help and why?
Probably my guy John Stout, just because he's my boy. He's a reliable guy.
13. How did you spend your time over quarantine?
I learned how to cook a little more. I make a good clam sauce with linguini, and also maple and honey glazed salmon.
14. Do you have an idea of what you want to do after Penn?
I'm concentrating in finance so I think I want to work potentially in private equity. I'll see where my career path takes me and where my connections lead me, but I think that's the direction I want to go.
15. What's your advice for up and coming wrestlers looking to compete in college?
I would say make deep connections with your teammates and do it together with them, and that's the fun part.
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