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Swartz pins down national masters freestyle wrestling title
Out of shape and running out of time, Auburn's Brad Swartz quickly shed the pounds and the doubts.
In doing so, he regained his top form on the wrestling mat.
Swartz, owner of Vision Quest Sport and Fitness centers at the SuperMall and Kent, lost 46 pounds over a 90-day period at his club-sponsored "The Biggest Loser" competition.
The boot camp-like training, including long and grueling sparring sessions on the mat, pushed Swartz into national-caliber shape.
"I feel like I'm 22 again," said the 48-year-old Swartz, a former two-time world freestyle champion who competed collegiately at Oregon State University. "We committed ourselves to the 90-day program … ate properly … and trained."
The hard work paid off. A leaner and powerful Swartz recently captured the 167.5-pound Division D title at the U.S. Open Veterans Freestyle National Championships at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Swartz, representing Team Vision Quest, defeated Chris Brown in separate rounds by decision, 2-1 and 7-1. He then pinned Steven Carr in just 19 seconds in the final.
It was Swartz's first title at the weight class. He had won the same masters tournament nine times at 187 pounds.
"I had the tournament of my life," Swartz said. "167 is where I should be. I committed myself to be 20 pounds lighter. I was literally in world championship shape."
Swartz and his company partner, former Washington State wrestler Chip Schwerzel, combined to lose 100 pounds during the weight-loss competition.
Next up for Swartz is the Fila Veterans World Championship at Ankara, Turkey on Aug. 9. Swartz has two world titles, two runner-up finishes and a third in his freestyle career.
Meanwhile, Swartz's son, Jake, lost to Morgan McIntosh in the 189-pound Western Junior Regionals freestyle finals. The Boise State-bound Swartz, a three-time state champion at Auburn High School, is preparing for the upcoming freestyle nationals in Fargo, N.D.