GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) "It's a lot of fun actually. Finally getting my chance to get out there and show everyone what I’ve got."
Redshirt junior Donnie Negus is the definition of next man up. He wrestled behind upperclassmen until this year, when it was his time to go under the spotlight and he’s shined.
Donnie Negus is wrestling really well. I think he's in the top eight ranked right now,” said CMU head coach Chuck Pipher. “Donnie wrestled well out in Reno. Just missed placing by a couple round out there. Donnie has worked himself into being a good, solid guy for us there at 197."
He competed with Nolan Crone for the starting 84 spot before going up a weight class. He's been able to use his new class to his advantage.
"For him to go up a weight and be a lighter guy, he weighs 192, 193 wrestling 197's but he doesn't have to worry about cutting much weight and he's a little quicker than those guys,” Pipher said.
"When you get to the highest level, everyone is good,” Negus said. “Everybody is at the elite level. It's just those little wrinkles that you get in everybody's game that you can change or figure out in other people's games that really elevate you."
This season, Negus is 8-5 and he has only lost one match by pin fall this season. To get to the top and achieve the ultimate goal, it takes a team effort.
"Your job as a teammate is to make your partner better than you,” said Negus. “It's the same for him, his job to make you better than him. If everybody is doing that, it just throws everybody way up at the top and everybody wins at that point and has fun with it."
Donnie's path to get to this point of the season wasn't handed to him and his patience is paying off in a big way.
“He's a program guy. He's been here four years and he's really worked himself into a good starting position there," said Pipher.
"When I was one of those back up guys, I was ready there for weighing in every time ready to just fill in the spot,” Negus said. “Now that I’ve finally got my chance to go out and shine and show everybody what I’ve got, I’m here and I’m taking my chance and I’m running with it."