This week, Wisconsin’s 2x All-American Dean Hamiti joined the Heavyweight Nation Podcast, and recapped his season and second NCAA Championship tournament. Here’s a take away from the episode:
Hamiti, a 3x state champion from Joliet Catholic Academy in Illinois, wasn’t totally sure if he was going to be the guy for Wisconsin in his true freshman season. However, the former Big Ten Freshman of the year ended up filling in perfectly for the Badgers at 165-pounds.
“Usually kids come in and go right to the redshirt right away, but I came in early because of the COVID-19 year and had a unique opportunity to come in during the summer and live here. I just saw so much improvement from June to September when the season started,” said Hamiti.
Hamiti bursted onto the scene as a true freshman for the Badgers, and had many people wondering who the new 165-pounder from Wisconsin was. At 18-years-old, Hamiti grabbed people’s attention while he was running through quality Big Ten opponents, and really showed that with a third place finish at the Big Ten Championships in 2022.
Hamiti didn’t stop there… A week later at the NCAA Championships in Detroit, Hamiti continued to keep on a roll and finished sixth on the podium and beat 14 opponents who were ranked in the country.
Forwarding to a year later in his sophomore season, Hamiti accumulated a 25-6 record with a Big Ten title, and once again finishing sixth in the country.
“Oh man, that’s been one of my goals since I started wrestling (Big Ten title), I used to watch it with all my friends and family and to now do it I couldn’t really describe it at first,” said Hamiti.
A big part of the success Hamiti has been having at such a young age is the people around him, and the brotherhood of Wisconsin wrestling has allowed him to reach his potential just so early in his career.
“It’s awesome, they’re all great role models. Ever since I’ve got here they have taken me under their wing and taught me the ways on how to do things in college. They’ve been bigger brothers to me and I’ve been close to a lot of them before coming here,” said Hamiti.
Hamiti has already figured out the in’s and out’s of the collegiate season with help of his teammates, and has been prepared to face top Big Ten competition week in and week out of the entire season.
“Just the Big Ten season in general is tough, you’re wrestling a top 10 guy every weekend, and it can be grueling on someone especially when you have to wrestle them again at a tournament the next week,” said Hamiti.
Going into his junior season, Hamiti has been thinking what’s next for his career and hints what his offseason will look like ahead of the 2024 season.
“I’m pretty sure I’m qualified for the U20 trials, so I can do that if I want. Mostly I really want to focus on fixing mistakes from this last season and trying to tighten up my game. I want to get to a point where I can really feel that I can beat anyone, at any position,” said Hamiti.
Whether it is the world team or still in the Badgers practice room, Hamiti is fully focused on getting his first national championship and starts that with reflecting on his performance this past season.