Senior wrestler Lance Palmer is well on his way to his fourth All-American title.
Palmer found success long before making his way to the Buckeye mat, though.
Palmer wrestled for St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, earning himself four consecutive state titles.
The fourth state title was “icing on the cake,” he said.
However, the state title was merely a warm-up for his 2006 Senior National Championship, his most coveted honor thus far.
Palmer is looking past a fourth All-American title to reach his ultimate goal: becoming a National Champion.
Working toward his goal has meant putting in more than 100 percent in practice. Keeping conditioning up is key to be able to go for seven minutes and not feel the fatigue halfway through, Palmer said.
Practices account for conditioning and strength training, but Palmer said, “confidence level and mental attitude are just as important going into it.”
Palmer competes in the 149-pound weight class, arguably the toughest overall, wrestling the best of the best every time.
“It’s exciting and makes it fun to wrestle in such a competitive weight class,” he said.
Palmer is ranked No. 3 in the weight class, behind No. 1 Iowa’s Brent Metcalf and No. 2 Wisconsin’s Kyle Ruschell.
“The top three of us go at it back and forth every time we wrestle,” Palmer said. “It’s good being at the top and having other guys push you every time you wrestle.”
Palmer has recorded 17 personal wins on the season. Two weeks ago, the Buckeyes traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa, for the National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals, where Palmer recorded a 5-0 decision.
Among the highlights of the weekend was a 1:13 second pin over Arizona State’s Vicente Varela, his fourth pin on the season.
That same day he defeated Cornell’s Hicks Manson 10-2 with four takedowns and one escape.
Palmer was only one of three Buckeyes to defeat No. 2 Iowa State.
He wrapped up his undefeated weekend with a win over Minnesota’s Mario Mason.
After his impressive performance at the National Duels, Palmer immediately set his sights on the Big Ten home opener on Sunday.
The Buckeyes face No. 12 Penn State at St. John Arena.
“We’re going to go out and wrestle hard and we’re going to beat them,” Palmer said.
Despite trying to break the home attendance record and Terrelle Pryor’s appearance as honorary captain, Palmer insists nerves won’t be a factor.
“Having more people there can only help us,” Palmer said. “You thrive off the crowd.”
Although Palmer is a senior this year, his name will still resonate on the mat. His younger brother, Collin Palmer, is a freshman on the team. This is the first time the two have wrestled together in four years.
The Palmer brothers don’t compete in the same weight class, and they insist they are competitive with each other, not against. They are competing to help one another.
They have the same goals in mind, but Collin admits that Lance usually pushes him more because he’s the harder worker.
“I take [Collin] through the ropes and get him up to the level that I want him to be at for next year when he steps up,” Lance said.
The Palmer brothers left a resounding legacy at St. Edwards and anticipate leaving that same mark in Buckeye wrestling lore.