SELMA — Tristan Lujan started his college wrestling career the way he ended his high school tenure. With a victory.
Lujan earned the win in his debut as a member of the Michigan State University Spartans wrestling team on Jan. 16 in East Lansing, Michigan. Lujan, a former Selma High standout who graduated in 2020, defeated University of Maryland’s Dainon Kapes 17-6 in the extra matches portion of the Spartans 42-0 season-opening win.
"I definitely had some jitters, but I was excited to compete and represent Michigan State,” Lujan said in a phone interview. “I was thrilled to have that Spartans written across my chest. I love it here. I love that I have been able to get on the mat and be with my teammates and coaches.”
Lujan, a 2019 and 2020 CIF California State Champion, then wrestled up a weight class for Michigan State in their second duel of the night on Jan. 16 against 14th ranked Minnesota. Lujan fell to 24th ranked Boo Dryden 6-1 in the 133-pound match. Michigan State was defeated by Minnesota 28-6.
"The little things matter a lot more in college wrestling,” Lujan said. “That is the difference between winning and losing matches. It makes or breaks them. It has been different than high school, but I am enjoying it.”
Lujan returned to the mat on January 29 when the Spartans faced-off against the No. 11 ranked Ohio State University Buckeyes. Lujan wrestled two matches, recording a 1-1 record that pushed his record to 2-2 on the season. Both matches were in the extra match phase of the duel against the Buckeyes.
In the first extra 125-pound match, Lujan defeated Ohio State’s Brady Koontz 5-3. Lujan then fell to Ohio State’s Jordan Decatur 3-2 in a second 125-pound matchup.
The 11th ranked Buckeyes defeated No. 23 ranked Michigan State 23-9 in the overall team score. The Spartans returned to the mat on Feb. 6 when they participated in a tri-meet against No. 7 ranked Nebraska and the University of Indiana. Lujan did not compete during the tri-meet.
In his freshman year at Michigan State Lujan said that he is becoming more comfortable with his new home, while also thinking about his hometown of Selma.
"It is a cool thing to think about representing Selma, but Michigan is my new home. I love it here,” Lujan said. “I am enjoying the experience and making new friends and bonding with my teammates and coaches."
Lujan is planning on majoring in pre-law with a minor in sports marketing at MSU, with career ambitions of being a sports agent or attorney after wrestling career.
Lujan was a three-time Central Sequoia League champion and ended his senior season for Selma High in 2020 with 35-2 record. Lujan earned a 35-1 mark in 2019, following going 37-6 at 115 pounds as a sophomore and 35-8 at 108 pounds as a freshman, finishing high school career with a 142-17 record. Lujan was a three-year team captain and was a 2018 NHSCA All-American and National Champion at 113 pounds.
The Spartans will then host Purdue University on Feb. 12 and end the regular season on Feb. 19 against the Michigan Wolverines. The matches against Michigan are scheduled to be broadcast on the Big 10 network.