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'Always Improving:' The 'Cohltrain' Cohlton Schultz plans to bring more championships to Tempe

Schultz plans to bring an Olympic medal and NCAA championship to Tempe in 2024 while leading the Sun Devils into a new season

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Redshirt sophomore Cohlton Schultz getting his hand raised at Mullett Arena on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2022. ASU won 19-17.

Redshirt junior wrestler Cohlton Schultz is 285 pounds of heart and hard work. The Parker, Colorado native continues to impress on a global scale year in and year out for both the Sun Devils and Team USA. 

Schultz, who has been wrestling since the age of four, attended Ponderosa High School in Parker and dominated with 188 wins and only two losses. During that span, he won four straight state championships. When he was 14 years old, Schultz said he got the opportunity to train with the Team USA Senior Greco-Roman World Team at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, about an hour away from his hometown, Parker.

Eventually, his success became national when he became the No.1 pound-for-pound recruit in the nation, and was the winner of the 2019 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award. 

Schultz continued to pin helpless opponents while honing his skills with world-class wrestlers and eventually ended up getting attention from the best wrestling programs in the country, including ASU. 

"I had a good enough high school career that I was blessed to get recruited by ASU, where I have had a pretty good career so far," Schultz said. "I'm still looking to win a national title and bring home a team title."

READ MORE: Cohlton Schultz is ready to be 'the dude' for ASU wrestling

Schultz's career as a Sun Devil has launched him to national stardom, as he has been no stranger to winning big. Some of his many accomplishments include the 2023 US Open 130 kg GR Champion, the Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year in 2022, a two-time Pac-12 champion, the 2022 ASU Most Outstanding Wrestler. He also earned All-American status for the third time this past season. 

Most recently, Schultz competed at the Senior World Championships with Team USA in Belgrade, Serbia, in the 130kg weight class for Greco-Roman style wrestling. For Schultz, he did not do as well as he had hoped.

He beat Marcel Albini of the Czech Republic in the qualifying rounds but then lost to Lithuanian Romas Fridrikas in the round of 16. Schultz did not medal but said he has plenty of room to improve in future global competitions. 

"Some of the guys that medaled, I definitely know I’m capable of beating," Schultz said. "Didn't finish out as high as my expectations."

Even after the tough loss in Serbia, Schultz said that his mentality of "always improving" is going to be what keeps carrying him forward.

ASU assistant wrestling coach Eric Thompson said Schultz is progressing in the ways he needs to as he goes into senior-level wrestling because every matchup is now against the "best wrestlers in the world, not just the best wrestlers in the country." 

Thompson said Schultz is adaptable and reliable.

"He’ll continue to make those progressions, and he is going to continue to get better and change because that's who he is as a wrestler and a person," Thompson said. "If it is not working, he will make the necessary adjustments to have that success." 

Through Schultz’s many years of wrestling and competing at a high level, head coach Zeke Jones said his experience and his personality leads the Sun Devils on and off the mat. Jones said Schultz is "really easy to get along with" and "has a great sense of humor."

"He is a leader on the team," Jones said. "The guys really like him. He's still a little young and is trying to get to a place where he's wrestling against the best wrestlers in the world and at the highest level ... it's a level up."

Schultz's next big goal competing in 2024 Paris Olympics, where he plans to add to his already decorated career. Schultz said he is putting his trust in his effort and coaching during training for next summer. Schultz said Paris is his ultimate individual goal.

"As long as I can remember, that has always been my goal," Schultz said. "Being an Olympian, being an Olympic Champion." 

Edited by Vincent DeAngelis, Shane Brennan and Grace Copperthite.

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