It was the first minute of his match against Iowa’s No. 13 Alex Meyer and Myles Amine made it clear that he had been saving all his energy while on the sidelines for the mat.
“I try to stay calm," 174-pound redshirt freshman Amine said after winning, 6-5. “ … I don’t want to waste too much energy screaming or yelling. I’m definitely rooting for those guys and hoping that they win the match, but I have to stay calm and reserve all my energy before I wrestle. Mentally, probably I will be cheering these guys on but physically probably you won't see me getting up there and screaming at the ref or doing anything crazy.”
Right off the bat, a double-leg takedown put Amine in the lead. Going into the second period, he had notched over a minute of riding time. In the second period, Meyer managed an escape to even the score before surpassing Amine’s riding time to take the lead in the third period.
With the score tied at 5-5 in the final minute of the match, a reversal gave Amine a one-point advantage that eventually earned him the victory. Amine's win was one of two matches falling in favor of Michigan in its sold-out dual meet against the Hawkeyes last Friday night.
“I think the best point in that match was that one right off the whistle,” Amine said. “Going forward, I think I wrestled a pretty tough third period, just staying offensive and kind of pushing myself. I think I could have gone a little harder in that third period … That’s something to work on.”
The match marked the third time this season that Amine has won against an All-American, and the fourth time he has won against a ranked opponent. Amine only recently moved into the top-10 nationally after being unranked at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 2-3), where he beat two All-Americans.
“He panicked there a little bit at the end,” said Michigan coach Joe McFarland. “But he’s a tough kid, he’s got a huge upside.
“(Amine) was out of practice for a little while. He’s just getting back into it after being off the mat for a period of time, so I was a little worried about where he was going to be. To be honest with you, a couple days ago we weren’t sure he was going to go wrestle, but he’s that kind of kid. That didn’t deter him at all.”
Of the 10 wrestlers in the starting lineup, he is currently one of seven redshirt freshmen. For McFarland, the lack of experience creates a learning curve, but he can look to wrestlers like Amine as an example.
“Believing in yourself and doing the little things, that’s what you need to do to win the match,” McFarland said. “Those matches that we won — Logan Massa, Myles Amine, those guys did the work, they did all the hard things.”
Amine finds the energy of his teammates to be a motivator. Specifically, he highlighted redshirt freshman Logan Massa, who is currently undefeated and ranked at No. 2 in the national rankings. Massa also won his match Friday against Iowa’s Joey Gunther.
“I try my hardest not to focus on the matches before me,” Amine said. “But when you watch somebody go out there on your team and just dominate, it kind of gets you excited, gets you ready to wrestle. It’s a good one-two punch with Logan and I. He comes first and he’s always going to bring the pressure and the heat, so sometimes I feel the thing I (have) to do is to keep up and to not let the nerves get to me.”
And as Amine just cracked the national rankings, McFarland can clearly see what the trajectory of his career may be.
“He’s going to be really really good,” he said. “We need more of those kind of efforts. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”