Jay Strausbaugh ready for next challenge at Mizzou

Being pretty good has never been good enough for Jay Strausbaugh.

“I wanted to get 10 state medals for all my sports and I had to stop at eight,” the Logan-Rogersville senior said.

With eight state medals across three different sports, Jay is one of the most successful athletes the Ozarks has seen in recent years.

“I want the best competition around, and that just drives me,” he said.

Jay earned multiple state medals on the cross country course and the track.

But it’s the wrestling mat where he’s truly in his element.

“It was wrestle 24/7. I didn’t do anything [else],” Jay said. “I lived and breathed the wrestling room, I think I was there more than I was at my house.”

It shows in the results as Jay finished state runner-up as a freshman before earning 132 pound gold as a sophomore and as a junior.

“It’s super fun when you’re not cutting weight,” Jay said.

As a senior, Jay carried an undefeated record through most of the year at 138 pounds.

Even though he hates cutting weight, he decided to move back down to 132 in search of his toughest challenge.

“I was like I want to cut to [132] because they have two returning state champs and like four or five medalists, so I was like I need to go down [to 132 pounds], I need that competition,” Jay said. “I want to win the toughest bracket around.”

So that’s exactly what he did; finishing off an undefeated season with his third consecutive state title.

However, that championship high quickly faded as this Wildcat turned to the track, only to see his final season cancelled.

“I was kind of down because I didn’t have anything to do,” Jay said. “I was like ‘what am I working for, because I don’t know what sports I’m going to play in college’.”

With nothing to train for, Jay had time to decide, eventually choosing the college wrestling path, and the chance to compete at the University of Missouri.

“I limited it down to Arkansas and Mizzou because I wanted DI, because I wanted the competition. I didn’t want to go in and be the number one right off the bat,” Jay said.

If this Wildcat turned Tiger carries his high school success to college, Mizzou will be happy to have him.

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