Pehrson twins use off-season meets to fuel sophomore season

Sophomore Aubrie Pehrson shows off her medal from the preseason nationals tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. Pehrson placed fifth in a 32-man bracket. (Courtesy Photo)

Every athlete and coach knows how beneficial it is to train in the off-season. For sophomore state champion wrestlers Aubrie and Alexis Pehrson, this training could be the key to their upcoming season.

The Pehrsons have gone through national tournaments, camps, practices and other training programs in the off-season.

“We competed at Fargo in the summer, and then we’ve done a few national duals, one in Indianapolis and another one in Iowa City,” Aubrie said. “Then recently we wrestled at preseason nationals in Des Moines.”

These experiences have led to confidence in their own wrestling skills.

“It’s given me a lot more confidence because I basically wrestle year-round, so I go to a lot of tournaments and practices. I kind of know what to expect,” Aubrie said.

Alexis has also found these practices and tournaments beneficial leading up to the season.

“[I] definitely feel more confident in my skills now that I’ve trained year-round,” Alexis said. “I have more technique now that I could probably use in matches.”

Wrestling coach Michael Swanson can already see a difference in the Pehrsons’ wrestling.

“They don’t need to ask a ton of questions…their growth that I’ve seen is their mental and aggressiveness growth,” Swanson said. “They don’t necessarily need a ton of direction from our coaching staff anymore. They can control a match; they don’t need a ton of help.”

Sophomore Alexis Pehrson wins her finals match at the Mat of Dreams individual tournament. The tournament was held in October in Coralville, Iowa. (Courtesy Photo)

The Pehrsons attributed this growth mostly to their coaches and parents, but the twins’ growth is also fueled by each other.

“[Aubrie] points out some stuff to me that I’m doing well; she’s a good practice partner too,” Alexis said. “She always tests me and pushes me to work harder.”

Aubrie also finds benefits in having her sister by her side.

“We not only support each other but also push each other to be the best because we get really competitive,” Aubrie said.

The twins’ drive to grow and succeed is helping them become more independent as wrestlers.

“We’d love to have them set their own kind of goals,” Swanson said. “They have to challenge themselves with things that they don’t know if they can necessarily complete.”

While they acknowledge that doing a sport year-round with constant practices, workouts, camps and other training can get tiring, the Pehrsons both feel the extra time and effort are worth it.

“It’s a lot to put on new training all the time, so you can get quite a bit of fatigue,” Alexis said. “But in the end, I always end up still going at it because I love wrestling, and it’s my passion.”