Tristan Jenny knew at a young age that wrestling was “his sport.”
The Stoughton native tried other sports as a child, including hockey and basketball, but nothing was able to compare to wrestling for him – especially when you take into consideration the reputation the youth and high school programs have in Stoughton.
Jenny said he liked wrestling so much, the thought of going to other sports practices was almost a burden, as he recalled one moment as a child where he was in tears over having to go to hockey practice.
“I really liked going to practice,’’ hetold the Hub on Sept 19. “(But) I didn’t really like going to practice for any other sport other than wrestling.”
Jenny racked up more than 100 career wrestling wins and elite status as a three-time state qualifier in his high school career. Now a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse senior, he has had his eyes set for a while on getting similar accolades in college, including becoming a college All-American, whenever the sport resumes. He’s hoping the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t have different plans. Regardless, Jenny said he’s ready for anything that comes his way.
“I want to be All-American,” he said. “That’s been my goal coming in here, and that’s my goal now. I want to be able to enjoy my last season of my career.”
And that’s not far fetched, assistant Stoughton Wrestling coach Bob Empey told the Hub.
“He has already been a two-time all-academic American as he prepares for this final year,” Empey said.
Jenny plans to graduate next spring with a degree in middle childhood to early childhood adolescent education with a special education minor.
In 2018-2019, Jennywent 17-8 wrestling at 125 pounds for the Eagles which is a continuation of the resume of wins he earned at Stoughton High School. Jenny individually qualified for state every season except his freshman year at 113, 126 and 120 pounds, also was a member of three state runner-up teams, won three Badger Conference titles, was a four-time regional champion and won a sectional title.
Even as Jenny now spends most of his time in La Crosse, he still has a special place for Stoughton and the wrestling program he grew up in. It helped shape him into the person he is today, Jenny added, and provided him a sense of community and belonging – many of the people he still considers to be close friends started off as his teammates in youth and high school wrestling programs.
“It was awesome to live in this community,” he said. “We went across the country together and grew up with each other. I think that just the community is something that’s always stuck with me.”