Posted: Wednesday, 20 February 2013 4:06PM

Athlete of the Week: Nixa wrestler Joe Velliquette




With a State Championship on the line, Nixa’s Joe Velliquette had been wrestling for eight minutes through regulation and two overtime periods with still no score.

“I was kind of hoping it was over,” Velliquette said. “I was exhausted. I wanted to get out of there.”

But he stayed in and faced an ultimate tie breaker in his 126-pound championship with Waynesville’s Lemuel Johnson.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE MATCH

Velliquette chose to be on top for the deciding frame in which he either had to hold Johnson down for 30 seconds or lose the title bout.

Velliquette was able to hold on and claim the title.

“When he started to get a little fatigued and some of that adrenalin wore off, his basic motor skills took over,” Nixa coach Dustin Martin said. “He was being aggressive and taking shots.”

It wasn’t the first time the wrestlers had been locked in a dramatic duel. The two wrestlers split one-point decisions earlier in the season.

“I have been on teams with him and his brother and I have wrestled a lot with them. I always respect them,” Velliquette said. “Whenever it goes into that (overtime) it is totally personal. I just want it more than him. We are just competitors trying to win.”

And Velliquette has been on top before. He won at 106 pounds last year before bulking up this year.

“I hit the weights extremely hard this summer. I feel natural at this weight class. I feel just as good as I did last year,” Velliquette said.

Velliquette is just a junior, so next winter he will chase his third state title.

Filed Under :  
People : Dustin MartinJoe VelliquetteLemuel Johnson
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