Originally, junior Caleb Malychewski was going to take advantage of coming to Pacific with college credit and graduate a year early.
However, Malychewski, the first wrestler to represent the Boxers at the NCAA Division III National Tournament in seven years, is coming back for one last season.
Director of wrestling Severin Walsh said that Malychewski returning is “a big deal” for a wrestling program that is growing rapidly, seeing more and more success every year.
“The coaches are happy because you can’t replace someone like him. He brings so much to the room and team,” said Walsh.
Malychewski, one of the captains of the wrestling team, posted a 30-10 record last season, the best of any wrestler since Walsh started coaching at Pacific.
He took second place in the Great Lakes Regional Tournament in March and lost his first two matches in the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
Going into the National Tournament, Malychewski was ranked eighth in the nation.
When asked about his decision to come back, Malychewski said that he has “unfinished business in wrestling.”
“I had such high expectations for myself at nationals and I fell short of them. I love being with the guys and competing. Also, the team is looking to be really strong next year and I want to be a part of that,” said Malychewski.
Fellow captain Bruce Balcita said that Malychewski is an exceptional teammate. “His motor goes 100 percent constantly. He’s a real lead-by-example kind of guy and makes everyone around him work at his level. If you don’t wrestle at his pace, you’ll wish you had.”
“It says a lot about Pacific when Caleb has the opportunity to leave, but decides to stay and continue his education and be a part of the Pacific community,” said Walsh.
Malychewski, who has completed all requirements for an exercise science major, and will continue working toward a minor in biology.