Shippensburg's Chandler Olson picks Drexel for wrestling
Drexel University's wrestling room is becoming a home away from home for Franklin County wrestlers.
The latest addition will be Chandler Olson of Shippensburg, who verbally committed to the Dragons in late August. Olson is a three-time PIAA tournament placewinner who has his sights set on a gold medal in March.
"It just seemed like a really good fit for me," Olson said. "They have great academics, I like the coaches and the team is nice. Plus, the program is getting better every year."
A pair of Chambersburg wrestlers are already with Drexel, which is coached by Matt Azevado. Tanner Shoap is a red-shirt junior at 133 pounds, and Garett Hammond is a graduate student at 157 pounds. There are four others on this year's roster from District 3 schools.
"I know a bunch of guys there already," Olson said.
The other schools on Olson's list were Princeton, Brown and Penn, which gives you an idea that wrestling is not the only thing Olson cares about for his college plans.
He said, "I'm planning to major in biology - I want to end up being a genetic engineer. Drexel has a co-op program so that I can actually do something with that while I'm there."
Because of the co-op program, all Drexel students attend for five years, so Olson will red-shirt one of his seasons.
"That's up to the coaches when that'll be," he said. "I may be at 133 (pounds) to start, but I guess it'll depend on whether I gain more weight."
For his senior season, Olson may use the same tactic as last year, when he wrestled at 132 most of the season, then dropped to 126 after the two-pound allowance kicked in.
Olson compiled a 38-4 record in 2015-16, including placing second in District 3 and fourth at states. His career record is a sparkling 104-15.
He would like to cap off his remarkable career with a PIAA title.
"It's nice to get this out of the way now; that way this season can be for me and I won't have to worry about it," Olson said. "I can just focus on the wrestling and winning a state title. I've been working for 13 years for that goal."