NIXA, Mo. — Most teenagers take summer trips to the beach, grandma’s house or maybe an amusement park.
Zan Fugitt started his summer in Las Vegas, and grappled his way through Argentina and is wrapping up in Rome.
“I’m pretty excited it’s going to fun,” Fugitt said. “Mostly the new people that I get to meet. The experiences that I get. I learn a lot. And improve my wrestling a lot.”
The Nixa Eagle made Team USA in Las Vegas in April.
In June, Fugitt won a gold medal at the Pan-Am games in Buenos Aires.
And this week he’ll be going for Greco gold at the United World Wrestling Championships in Italy.
“Greco is a lot of upper body throwing, supplexes and stuff,” Fugitt said.
“I’ve done it for awhile since I was littler,” Fugitt said. “There’s a lot of stuff you have to pick up on. It’s a lot different. You can’t touch the legs and stuff. It was hard to get used to for sure, not being able to touch the legs. But I’ve always been like a thrower. I like throwing.”
Fugitt started wrestling when he was four.
And he’s not just a champion standing up in Greco.
He’s a two time state high school wrestling champion at both 113 pounds, and last year at 120.
And the soon to be senior says his experience in Columbia will help at the world championships.
“It just adds, I don’t know, some confidence almost,” Fugitt said. “I’m used to it. I’m used to the big crowd and everything.”
Ben Melton is an assistant coach and gets tossed around by Fugitt on a daily basis.
He has a great mindset when it comes to wrestling,” Melton said. “He brings it every practice. He works extremely hard. Even when he was little. I was in high school when he first started. And I remember seeing him at kids club. He was just the most competitive person. And he will do whatever it takes to win.”
After his Nixa career is over, Fugitt will wrestle collegiately at Oklahoma.
He also hopes to represent the United States in the Olympics.
Fugitt wouldn’t be the first Nixa Eagle to be an Olympian following in the footsteps of silver medalist Courtney Frerichs.
“That’s definitely a big goal to be an NCAA champion, make a couple of more world teams and maybe be on the Olympic team.” Fugitt said. “Just training hard and getting to where I want to be. Just go out and wrestle hard. It’s definitely a big goal of mine.”
It’s been quiet a summer for Zan Fugitt, one he certainly will remember the rest of his life.