OLATHE, Kan. — Olathe West junior Jayton Hay is used to being underestimated.
“When they come out, they see me and they're like, 'Oh, this might be an easy match,'” Hay said Sunday, surrounded by his wrestling teammates.
Jayton and five other Owls are fine-tuning their approach ahead of next weekend’s Kansas state wrestling championships.
“Everyone’s body style is different, and he's certainly no exception,” head coach Tyler Rodden said of Hay, a dwarf and state qualifier in the 106-pound division for West. “When people look at them, they judge a book by its cover and underestimate them a little bit."
Not an overnight success, Hay is headed to Wichita for the first time in his third season competing with West. The stout competitor says learning how to use his stature as a sophomore helped translate on the mat in 2022.
“Once we get on the mat, it's like six minutes of pain,” Hay said jokingly. “Right now, I'm just looking forward to placing ... beating up my opponents. If not, making sure they really work hard for it.”