Quincy Monday wrestling Rider's Jesse Dellavecchia (Photo/Beverly Schaefer, Princeton Athletics)
NCAA wrestling may be over prematurely, but the lives of the student-athletes go on.
COVID-19 put a halt to the NCAA wrestling season right before the national tournament was to start, ending the careers of many seniors, and the season for all. The NWCA announced its selections for All-America honors regardless. On that list was Princeton sophomore Quincy Monday. Monday wrestled to a 24-4 record and was one of three Princeton wrestlers selected by the NWCA for All-America honors.
While the honor is nice, Monday says it's a bitter-sweet moment for him, wishing he could have had the opportunity to wrestle in the NCAAs this season. Regardless, he's thankful to be thought of for this award.
"It feels good," Monday said. "In the sport of wrestling, everything comes down to that that last tournament in March. So to kind of have that taken away, it's kind of weird to still be named All-American."
Outside of wrestling, Quincy Monday is still a student. He just declared his major and looks to continue his education.
"I just declared my major, actually," said Monday. "I'm going to be majoring in medical anthropology. "I'm a pre-med student. So I'm interested in going to med school. I've been focused on that, trying to get those science classes out of the way."
Quincy Monday's Olympic influence
Monday's dad, of course, is Kenny Monday. He was an Olympic gold medalist and a huge part of Quincy's start in wrestling. Kenny won gold at the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 and earned an Olympic silver in 1992. He also competed in the 1996 Olympics. Quincy credits his dad for his early love in wrestling. It was the natural son looking up to a father that got him involved early on.
"My dad ran a kids club and a teen club back in Texas," said Quincy. "When I was too young to wrestle, I still liked to go on to the practices and watch them. I couldn't wait to get on the mat. When I was old enough, about like 5 or 6, I started attending the practices. And so I've just been wrestling ever since."
Quincy says his father was his inspiration. He was fortunate enough to be coached by someone who has succeeded at the highest levels of the sport and knew exactly how to make sure Quincy stayed healthy.
"He's been like this coach since day one," said Quincy. "He's always been in my corner. He's always been the one to push me, get me to go the extra mile. I'm putting in the work. But also he also makes sure I keep a love for the sport because a lot of kids burn out when they start wrestling so young. So he's done a good job of keeping my love for the sport going. I'm grateful for that."
Quincy Monday says there's a shadow he stands in of his father and what he's accomplished in the sport. But he is quick to point out how the pressure from being his father's son is not always a bad thing.
"I would say it does bring some pressure, but you don't have to look at pressure negatively," said Monday. "I think it's kind of like an opportunity. My dad was a three-time Olympian. That's the pinnacle of our sport. So I think it would be amazing if I were able to someday reach that and kind of achieve what he achieved. He has kind of like set the goal for me. He was a trailblazer for me. I look up to him a lot. I'm just I'm thankful that I even have the opportunity to try to achieve what he has."
With COVID-19 putting a halt to the season, Monday has taken it upon himself to keep in shape and continue training. He says the entire situation has been wild, but he has the tools to continue getting better.
"It's kind of surreal," said Quincy. "Just like every other university, I was sent off campus. I'm back home now in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I kind of took I took some time off a little bit. Now I've just kind of been running on my own. I go in and wrestle with my dad. And then just trying to hang out with my brother. So it's really just kind of slowly getting back into it. I'm doing what we can under the circumstances."
When asked about who wins the father-son matches, Quincy admits his dad has still got it. But he says his father's time is coming. "He's got me in the past, but I'm just getting faster and stronger at this point. He's getting a little old. I'll give them about one more year."
Monday knows his dad won't go away quietly. "It's coming soon," said Quincy. "My dad, he's going to want to get me back. He's not going to want to go out on a loss."
As for the future in college wrestling, Monday has one goal in mind: NCAA champion. He is continuing to work to become that dominant force he dreams of being.
"I want to be the best that I can be, so of course national champion is the clear goal," said Quincy. "I want to reach a level in my wrestling where I'm just dominant. I'm just kind of like blowing everyone out of the water. So I think eventually I've got to aim for like the Hodge Trophy because that goes to the most dominant wrestler. If I am aiming for that, my training and wrestling will continue to grow."
Quincy Monday also has Olympic goals. He plans to finish med school and keep training in the meantime.
"I think I probably wait one or two years before applying to med school and keep training," said Quincy. "I want to make a team in those couple years. That's definitely the goal."
Don't expect Monday to make the jump to mixed martial arts just because his father coached at Blackzilians. Monday isn't a fan of being punched in the face and would like to keep it that way. However, his brother Kennedy Monday is making the jump.
"I really don't look forward to getting punched in the face, so I don't think that's the path for me. My brother actually talks a lot about going into MMA. But whenever we fight, he can't handle getting hit, so I don't know how that's going to work out," Monday said in brotherly jest.
While this past season was cut short, Quincy Monday will make a run at the tournament next year as a junior at Princeton. Make sure to follow Quincy Monday's wrestling journey on Twitter and Instagram.