After a four-year wrestling career at Roseburg High School, senior Tristin David has made the decision to continue grappling on the mat at the college level.

David, a four-time state qualifier and three-time state placer, signed a letter-of-intent earlier this month with Colorado School of Mines, an NCAA Division II school in Golden, Colorado.

“I like the success the program has had in the past couple of years,” David said. “I like the coach’s mentality on how to train. It was a little different but I saw a lot of the same stuff that Steve (Lander) coaches.”

The No. 12 Orediggers went undefeated in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference last season and finished fourth as a team in the NCAA Super Region VI Championships. Head coach Austin Devoe coached four wrestlers to individual berths in the D-II national championships, including redshirt senior Robert Gambrell, who was named the Super Region VI wrestler of the year.

David says he was also drawn to Colorado School of Mines because of the academics. He plans to study chemical engineering and says he was happy the school doesn’t require students to take English classes.

David goes into his freshman year of college with plenty ofconfidence after finishing his high school career strong.

“This was one of my best (seasons),” David said. “I was in the finals (at the Class 6A state tournament) again, finally, since my freshman year.”

The senior took second in the 152-pound bracket to earn the second runner-up finish of his career. David also placed at the Reno Tournament of Champions this season and reached the blood round at the Doc Buchanan Invitational in Clovis, California.

David nearly got his first individual state championship this season, but lost to top-seeded Cael Bunson of West Linn in a 3-2 decision. He said missing out on an individual title in high school used to bug him, but now he’s moving on.

“If I look back on it, I did everything I could,” David said. “I’m not too sad about it. I’m disappointed, but I’m not sad.”

Now David will try to bring his determined spirit to the college level. He’s working hard to stay in shape while things are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. He’s using a makeshift weight set from his mom and running to stay fit.

David expects to be headed to Colorado for the fall term in August and is excited to be getting out on his own and away from home. He thinks going away to college will resemble some of the memorable trips he’s gone on for wrestling.

“It’s just a longer version of, like, Fargo (nationals) or something like those (tournaments) is how I’m pretty much looking at it,” he said. “I’m not too worried about it and I feel like it will be a fun experience.”

Joey Keeran is the sports director for KSKR The Score.

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