Spencer Anderson was one of Gridley High School's top two wrestlers in 2007, and just missed out on competing in the state tournament. He's now wrestling at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, and his former Gridley coach said he's vastly improved.

Spencer Anderson was one of Gridley High School's top two wrestlers in 2007, and just missed out on competing in the state tournament. He's now wrestling at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, and his former Gridley coach said he's vastly improved.


"Spencer has taken the next step in his sport," Brannon Byrne said. "He's progressed so much since high school."


Byrne thinks Anderson's technique, speed and strength have all improved. He said if Anderson was half as good as a senior as he is now, he'd have made and won the state tournament.


The biggest reason for the improvement is the level of competition he faces on his own team. Deniko Sisk, who made the state tournament, could push him at Gridley, but the level of competition has been raised.


"I'm a lot more solid on my feet; my hips have gotten a lot better," Anderson said. "Just because I've been wrestling better people at practice though. They push you. I have like four guys in my weight class and we're all battling."


Despite an offer to wrestle at UC Davis, Anderson chose Cuesta College in the hopes of wrestling for Cal Poly after two years. He's proving he belongs, finishing with a 17-8 record in his first collegiate year.


He finished in second place at a San Francisco State tournament, losing 9-6 to Mike Koehnlein of Cerritos College, the number one wrestler in the state at 141 pounds.


Anderson had to drop weight to get to 141, but said he feels comfortable there. He wrestled at 152 in high school, but his coaches had him drop based on a hydration test - checking body fat to determine how low someone could go. He said he had a strict diet and running plan, and tough practices helped too.    


The Cuesta wrestling team practiced for three hours each day, five days of the week.


"It's a whole different level," Anderson said of the transition to college. "The practices are a lot more intense. I had to get a lot more strict - just go to school and wrestling. That was pretty much my life."


Anderson is hoping to become an All-American wrestler next year before transferring to Cal Poly. Byrne said if he continues progressing the way he has, he'll be able to accomplish his goals.


His work ethic is second to none, and Byrne said that he's "Lou Ferrigno strong."


"He has all the attributes to be one of the top Division I wrestlers in the country," Byrne said. "He's that good. He's that fast. He's that strong. He just needs experience and technique, and he's getting it. If he continues on the path that he's going, I have no doubt in my mind that he'll be one of the best wrestlers in the country."