Cole Lampman is a sophomore on the wrestling team. The New York native is starting for the second consecutive year at heavyweight for the Tigers and has already gotten off to a hot start this season, which has included wins in both of Princeton’s matches at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 1. Lampman recently sat down with The Daily Princetonian to discuss his hot streak on the mat, his blooming mustache and his Hoagie Haven struggles.
Q: Where are you from, and what’s the best part about it?
A: I’m from Saratoga County, New York. The best part about Saratoga County was me, but, now that I’m gone, the best part about it is that it gets six feet of snow every winter. It’s basically miserable all the time, but at least it’s not New Jersey.
Q: When did you start wrestling?
A: I got into wrestling when I was six years old because my brothers and I were getting into too many fights at tae kwon do class.
Q: What has been the best moment of your career so far?
A: Probably my third-place finish at nationals in high school, but winning both matches at Madison Square Garden a few weeks ago was sweet, too.
Q: Tell us more about your performance at “Grapple at the Garden.”
A: Going into the tournament, I had a feeling our team was good, but I didn’t know how we’d stack up against other EIWA teams. There wasn’t much pressure for me during the first match against Drexel because we’d already locked up the match by the time I went on. But the second match against Army was going to be decided by the heavyweights, and I told myself I had to be the hero. After winning both of those matches, I already feel that I’m a way better wrestler this year than I was last year. I try to not let it get to my ego too much, but it does feel pretty awesome.
Q: Do you have any pre-match rituals?
A: Not really, I just bounce around and try to get angry at my opponent.
Q: What’s the best part about being a heavyweight?
A: I get to eat as much as I want, but it’s becoming a chore now. I’m very likeable to the upperclassmen because they can pick on me for being fat. But they like me a lot, and we’ve become good friends, so that’s probably the best part about wrestling at heavyweight.
Q: Do you have a spirit animal?
A: I think my teammates would agree that my spirit animal is the hippopotamus. We have in common not only our stature, but they are also heartless killing machines. I have also been called the “Marauder of West Africa” before, just like the hippo.
Q: What are your feelings on Hoagie Haven?
A: I have a love-hate relationship with Hoagie Haven. I really love their food, but it brings me back to a low point in my Princeton career, when last year I hurt my shoulder while running to get a sandwich. I tripped and separated my shoulder. It was a dark time.
Q: What are you interested in studying?
A: I want to study sociology, but I’m really more interested in becoming a veterinarian after graduation. So I’m on a pre-health track, with particular interest in taking care of larger animals some day, such as horses or cows. My house is near a really rural part of New York, so I’ve just grown up around a horse track and farms where there are larger animals.
Q: What’s at the top of your Christmas list right now?
A: I think it’s a GoPro camera right now. I do a lot of cliff diving during the summer, so that’d be pretty cool to get.
Q: Have you ever gotten coal in your stocking?
A: No, but I’ve heard that joke about a million times.
Q: Your teammates have talked about a tire-flipping practice you had to do last year. Care to share?
A: Well, my coach thought I needed to get tougher last season. So he took me apart from everyone else during practice one day and made me do 20 lengths of tire flipping. Then he had me punch the heavy bag while he was yelling at me, and then I threw up all over the place after that. He still brings that practice up when he wants to threaten me.
Q: Who’s the weirdest teammate you have?
A: I think it’s a tie between [sophomore] Kevin Moylan and [freshman] Troy Murtha. With Troy, he’s just oblivious to everyone and everything around him, which is funny in itself. But he also does our team breakdowns, and his voice can be heard echoing through all of Jadwin Gym, it’s so loud. Moylan’s just a wild card — he loves making other people feel uncomfortable. We’ll be in the dining hall, and he’ll just touch someone’s face randomly or bark at them. It gives him some kind of sick pleasure.
Q: What superlative belongs to you on the team?
A: Besides the obvious of most handsome wrestler, I think I’m in contention for best mustache as well. Obviously senior Ryan Callahan is in the running, but I’m also training my roommate and teammate [sophomore] Scott Gibbons in the art of facial hair growth.
Q: Thoughts on this Saturday’s home match against Rutgers?
A: I’m stoked for it. This is the biggest stage in New Jersey wrestling, and basically we’re competing for the title of King of New Jersey. The way our team’s looking right now, it’s going to be an exciting duel. We’re gonna put on a show.