Jan 29, 2014 8:02 PM by Bill Halter
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The Cal Poly wrestling team will hold its dual meet with 24th ranked Oregon State outside on Thursday. The mats will be rolled out in the middle of the University Union which is in the heart of the campus. "I've wrestled once outside and it was in middle school. I don't think it will change anything to the point were it will change a match but it's going to be a new experience, it will be fun" said Cal Poly junior Dominic Kastl.
Kastl is the 19th ranked 174-pound wrestler in the nation and one of the Mustangs top attractions. Kastl's younger brother Blake is ranked 31st in the 149 pound weight class. Blake rekindled his relationship with his brother by going to Cal Poly which is the same school their parents went to. After Dominic started attending Cal Poly his family moved from their home in Northern California to Ohio. "It was kind of a shocker at first. I didn't see it coming, they actually told me about a week before they were actually going to move" said Dominic.
Blake says Dominic was upset with the family. "It kind of drove our relationship a part, we ended up going six months without talking. I ended up coming here on my recruiting trip and that was the first time I saw him and talked to him in about six months. Ever since then we've been talking again, we live together now" said Blake.
Cal Poly head coach Brendan Buckley says Dominic and Blake make each other better as teammates. "They're good for each other. Having brothers on the team is always good because you know they're going to be competitive with one another" said Buckley. "We hold each other accountable and we push each other in all aspects of life including our academics and athletics" said Dominic.
Last season Blake redshirted. Dominic was ranked 8th in the country during the preseason after winning a Pac-12 championship the year prior but before the season started he got some bad news about his aching back. "I was sitting in class, waiting for class to start and doctor called and told me that I wasn't going to wrestle this year and my chances of ever wrestling again were slim to none" said Dominic. The doctor told Dominic that he had a spine condition that was too severe to wrestle through.
"He started crying and I was like don't worry Dom we'll figure it out" said Blake. "We just finally found the right doctor who said he could do the surgery and help his back get better."
After surgery Dominic put himself through some intense physical therapy and was able to return to the mat after just one season off. Dominic is 14-3 this year while using some new techniques to limit the strain on his back. "I don't think I'm where I was before yet but I feel like give me an opportunity and I'll show everyone that I can do that" said Dominic.
He will take on 24th ranked Joe Latham from Oregon State during Thursday's dual that starts at 3:00 pm.
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