Reno's Berreyesa steadily climbing wrestling's ranks

RENO, NV (KOLO) - Andrew Berreyesa's biggest dreams are within reach.

"It's pretty much going to be a 9 month sprint toward the Olympic Trials in April," says Berreyesa. "Then the U23 World Championships. A medal there would mean I'm qualified for the Olympic Trials."

Not bad for a kid from Reno High. The Biggest Little City isn't exactly a mecca for his sport.

"A lot of people bring it up, because Nevada is a non-traditional wrestling state," says Berreyesa. "I always think about it because being on the East coast there's a lot more emphasis on wrestling as a culture. For me to represent Reno, it's a big thing. I'd love to get the culture changed out here too."

It's a perspective the recently turned 21-year-old has gained during his time in New York, wrestling for the Big Red of Cornell University. Out of the Ivy League.

"I try to balance everything pretty well," Berreyesa says with a smirk. "I think it's easy being around the people I'm around at Cornell. It's easy when you have those people right alongside you doing the same thing."

Well - not exactly the same thing. Berreyesa's grasp of the Greco Roman style has sent him around the world as part of Team USA. Places like Sweden, Slovakia, and most recently - a trip to Germany.

"I think it's so cool to be in a place with a completely different language, with a different culture, not knowing what's going on," says Berreyesa. "I think that's so fun and cool. I cherish every moment I get to go overseas."

And there will be plenty more ahead, but Berreyesa will always remember where it started. In a wrestling room and on some mats somewhere in Reno, some dozen years ago. An out-of this-world dream, closer to reality, now more than ever.

"Growing up, kids are always saying 'I want to play in NFL, MLB, NBA' or whatever," says Berryesa. "For me, it was always - 'I want to be an Olympic champ. I want to wrestle'. Ever since I was a kid. I'd never give up on that dream. It was always the plan."

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