#TeamUSATuesday: Greco-Roman National Team member Max Nowry

By JD Rader, USA Wrestling | July 02, 2019, 3:19 p.m. (ET)
Max Nowry is currently the No. 1 wrestler at 55 kg/121.3 lbs. for Team USA’s Greco-Roman National Team. He earned his top spot by defeating Brady Koontz at Final X: Rutgers in two matches.

2019 marks Nowry’s fifth and third-straight National Team.

The Wheeling, Ill. native is having a solid 2019 winning the U.S. Open, Final X, and the Pan American Championships. 

Nowry took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions. 

What is your favorite movie?
I’d have to say Goodfellas. It’s been a favorite of mine since I was younger. I’m big into the mob movies and Joe Pesci.

Who is your favorite musical artist?
I’d say John Mellencamp. I grew up listening to him with my dad.

What is your favorite sport to watch other than wrestling?
Golf. I didn’t ever really watch sports until I started to golf. My favorite golfers are Xander Schauffele, Abraham Ancer, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, and Brooks Koepka.

Who is your favorite wrestler, either past or present, to watch?
I used to love watching videos of Roberto Monzón from Cuba. 

What is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?
Greece. We went to that back in 2013 to try and get wrestling back in the Olympics. That was by far the best place I’ve ever travelled to. 

What do you normally do to pass time when you travel?
Dominos is a big thing with the team, so Ryan Mango, Leslie Fuenffinger, the coaches, and I we’ll sit there and play dominos for hours.

What are some of your hobbies off of the mat?
I like to golf as much as I can or take my four wheeler up into the mountains and ride around. Around the house we play corn hole and darts. That gets very competitive. 

How has joining the Army WCAP influenced your career?
I’ve got outstanding coaches and even better training situation. Look at this year’s results, the first four weight classes are all WCAP. We’ve got a really good and a really good thing going on. Between the practice partners, the great coaches, and the amount of support I get, it’s been an awesome experience to be a part of. 

What is the ninja squad?
The ninja squad is 67 kg and below. We’re thinking about adopting 72 kg into the ninja squad. It all started last year. The little guys were on a separate lifting plan from the bigger guys, and we kind of jokingly talked crap to each other and pushed each other. One day the word ninja came out and we just started calling ourselves the ninja squad. We’ve kept it and ran with it since then.

How did you get involved in wrestling?
My dad signed me up for hockey back in 1996 or 1997, but there wasn’t enough kids so they cancelled it and I got thrown into wrestling.

When did you start wrestling Greco-Roman?
My high school coach convinced me to do both styles because I think it was only $5 more to wrestle both and I was mostly wrestling freestyle at the time. Then I did the Cadet Duals my sophomore year, and that’s where I met Coach Medlin. Ever since then it’s been my favorite discipline.

How has wrestling impacted your life?
It’s made me into the person I am today. By the time I quite football and baseball, I understood the individual part of it. It transitioned over to my academics and everything else I did in life.

Do you have any pre-match rituals you try and do before every match?
I throw my music and on, hangout by myself, and just clear my mind. If there’s a warm up area, I’ll hangout back there. If not, I’ll just watch the wrestling and try not to think about my upcoming match and don’t get that pre-match anxiousness. 

What would you say motivates you during training?
Working as hard as I possibly can to make my family, friends, and coaches proud. I do it for myself, but having that in the back of my mind is a really big motivator. When I was younger, I had both of my parents working two jobs at the same time. I wanted to make sure that wasn’t done for nothing. I still kind of carry that and hold on to that. 

What does it mean to you to be able to represent America at the World Championships?
It means everything. I’m a soldier athlete, so a soldier first, but being in the World Class Athlete Program, I’m allowed to wrestle and pursue my dream. I’m not just representing USA Wrestling at the World Championships, I’m representing the US Army. All the men, women, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters that are all currently or have served. That’s a big thing I hold on to when I compete overseas. I don’t want to win a World title, I need to. What I represent is a big motivator and that will be my purpose when I step on the mat in Kazakhstan. 

The Nowry file
Birthday: March 16, 1990
Hometown: Wheeling, Ill.
College: Northern Michigan
Residence: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Club: U.S. Army WCAP/Illini RTC
Five-time National Team member (2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Two-time Pan American gold medalist (2013, 2019)
2019 US Open champion
2012 Olympic Trials runner-up
2012 University World champion
2008 Junior Nationals champion