Marcus Urban has put in the time and now he’s reaping the benefits of it.
The Dakota Wesleyan University junior wrestler will make his national wrestling debut today in Wichita, Kansas. The Plankinton native is a tireless worker and DWU coach Casey Mouw said he’s set an example in the wrestling room and weight room.
“It’s really rewarding and especially this kid,” Mouw said. “All these guys work hard, but this kid being local, he’s here all summer. He’s here year around. He never misses a workout. He’s earned it.”
Urban credits his parents -- Ronald and Susan -- for instilling that hard-working attitude in him. He also said it stems from how he was coached in high school by former DWU All-Americans Josh Geppert (his cousin) and Kyle Gerlach.
“I also think a big driving factor for me is not always being the best,” Urban said. “Always coming up short a little bit and always striving to be better next time.”
Urban never accomplished his goal of winning a state wrestling championship. His best finish was fifth place during his senior season. That’s what makes this trip to nationals that much sweeter. He’s the first DWU wrestler to qualify for the national tournament since 2016 when Trever DeVestern and Jade Hoisington made it.
“This was the next big thing,” Urban said. “So it always has been a driving factor in my wrestling career.”
His sophomore campaign added fuel to the fire. He battled injuries last season and came one match from qualifying for nationals. Mouw felt if Urban went a full season without injuries he could reach this stage.
Urban delivered this season. The 165-pounder is 23-12 this season and lost in the title match of the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament. But Urban was voted as one of the three wild card nominations for the GPAC to send to the national tournament.
“He’s been motivated since Day One,” Mouw said. “Both his high school coaches were All-Americans here. That’s always kind of been in his mind I want to continue that trend and that tradition.”
He can now earn All-American honors this weekend, which goes to top-8 placewinners. Urban opens the national tournament on with an opening-round bye. He will face off against the winner of Jerrod Mullins, of Rochester University, and the No. 1 seed in the 165-pound weight class, Justin George, of Reinhardt University.