Winnetka, Sports

Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Nina Aceves, New Trier wrestling

Nina Aceves is a senior wrestler for the Trevians. She will continue wrestling with Iowa Lakes College next year.

1. Do you have any prematch match rituals or superstitions?

Not really superstitions; mainly it’s just music. I try to lock in a lot with music. Right before matches, you will see me with my headphones on, really locked in and focused, trying to see the moves.

2. Why Iowa Lakes?

I had one phone call with (the coach) and really enjoyed his vibe, his presence. It was a nice conversation and he was interested in what I was curious about with his program and it wasn’t all about him. I am meeting the team soon and I heard they are really nice and super inclusive. It just fit the criteria I was looking for.

3. How did you get into wrestling?

I started last year, which is pretty recent. It was the one sport I could do with my friends. I am friends with a lot of guys and wrestling is a co-ed sport. After that, I fell in love with the sport. It has really impacted my life greatly.

4. What do you like most about the sport?

I think the determination and hard work you have to put in. It is very rewarding to see the benefits of something you put forth and enjoy. It requires so much discipline to keep showing up and grinding. Seeing how much work my teammates put into it is very inspiring and it brings out a lot of joy to see how well myself and everyone else does.

5. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not wrestling?

Go to the gym. It sounds pretty basic. That’s my original home. Besides being on the mat, the gym is where I’m always at for comfort and sanctuary. It’s where my mind feels a little more at ease.

6. If you could play another sport, what would it be?

Probably basketball. I’ve always had a love for basketball. It was always there for me when I was growing up. I was never really that good at it but if I spent more time getting good at the sport, there may have been some potential.

7. What has been your favorite wrestling moment so far?

Overall, just spending time with the team, getting out there for tournaments. As long and unbearable as they are to sit through, eight to 10 hours, just being there with people you spend all that time with and bonding, it’s very nice.

8. If you are in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?

Probably a small snack — I really like Clif bars — and then some juice, like Powerade. Fruit punch.

9. What is something people don’t know about you?

Probably how self-conscious I am about everything. I try to have a persona that I’m always confident and have a powerful personality, but really I’m always down on myself a bit, especially before matches. But I have fantastic teammates and coaches that help me get through that and push me harder.

10. What are your hopes for yourself and the team this season?

To make it to state for sure. Me and my one teammate have a plan to qualify (for state) together and I would love if the whole team could qualify together. If that doesn’t happen, then to all have solid records and come out with some new moves to have a strong building base for next season, especially for the younger ones.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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