Ryan J. Madson ’13, co-captain of the MIT Wrestling team, made program history this season, becoming the first four-time All-American for MIT. He is currently ranked third overall in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association’s (NCWA) rankings, finishing seasons in fourth place as a freshman, second as a sophomore, third as a junior, and fourth in his final season.
Now in his final semester in Mechanical Engineering (Course 2), Madson has found a good balance between the academic rigor of MIT and training as a competitive athlete. “Wrestling is a demanding sport, and MIT is a demanding school. Balancing the two was difficult at first, but after some time I was able to figure out how much work was needed to be successful,” said Madson. “Wrestling was also a good change of pace from the constant load of schoolwork during the semester.” He spends most days focusing on studying and problem sets, fitting in daily workouts during the off-season and wrestling practices during the season along with some time to relax.
A Minnesota native, Madson joined the sport kindergarten partly because of its popularity. His father was a wrestler in high school and coached him during his early years in the sport. Although MIT cut the sport from the varsity program, he chose to stick with the team as it made the transition to club status.
“It feels pretty good” to be the first All-American in MIT wrestling history, said Madson. “I never would have guessed my freshman year when they cut the team that I would be able to make my mark at MIT in this manner.”
Madson credits the coaches who remained with the team after it was cut from the varsity program and his teammates for contributing to his success. “The wrestling team has been my family away from home,” he said. “Trips with them to Nationals and other tournaments are by far some of the most memorable times of my MIT career.”