Raymond Jazikoff And The NYU Wrestling Team Are Ready For Regionals

By Paul Sondhi

It’s been a pretty successful school year for NYU athletics, on and off the court.

We’ve seen numerous student-athletes honored by the University Athletic Association for their athletic and academic achievements, including the women’s golf team, women’s soccer, and over 100 individual athletes. All in all, in spite of Coles closing, NYU’s athletes have continued to march on and put up great performances.

The latest student-athlete to be honored is Raymond Jazikoff. The sophomore sports management major earned the UAA’s Athlete of the Week honor on monday for his performance at the team’s tri-match against the College of Mount Saint Vincent and Long Island University-Post. Jazikoff won twice at the match, and this is his first weekly honor of the season (he was also honored once last season).

Clearly a force on the mat, the New Jersey native finished last season with a record of 34–18 to lead the team in wins. “I mean, wrestling is all about improvement, improvement not only physically [but] mentally,” he said when asked about getting better at his craft. “The main thing I say I improved on this year is my attitude, I feel like I am having much more fun this year and enjoying ever moment that this sport offers me. By the end of my college career I want to look at my wrestling career as an example of what hard work and determination results in. “

Though the team as whole has not performed as well as last season, (21–3 vs. 14–6 so far this year), Jazikoff believes this season’s W-L record doesn’t reflect how hard the team has been preparing.

“We work hard everyday in that room which the record really does not [show],” he said. “We had some injuries this year that led to our dip in our record, but this season showed when we are at our best we are a team capable of winning a team national title.”

This upcoming weekend marks a hugely important one for the wrestling squad, as the team competes in the NCAA East Regional at Washington & Lee University in Virginia.

In 2014–15, NYU placed 2nd of 18 teams, and competed at the NCAA Division III Championships, where it finished 12th of 62. In addition to Jazikoff, the team will be relying heavily upon Juniors Nathan Pike and John Messinger in 133-pound and 174-pound divisions, respectively.

It will be another chance for Jazikoff to showcase his talent, as he placed sixth in the event last season, wrestling at 157 pounds. Leading the team with 27 wins so far this year, Jazikoff is poised to have a big performance.

Yet, he understands the importance of treating every day the same and improving alongside his teammates. “Everyday at practice I focus on improving my ability and really push myself and my teammate,” he emphasized. “I also focus on my goal, which is to be a national champion. In the matches [it’s] time to use that ability and put it to work for not only myself but for my team and for my school.”

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