IOWA CITY — Joe Colon is coming home.
Well, sort of.
Colon, a two-time state champion for Clear Lake High School, an NJCAA national champion for Iowa Central and an All-American for the University of Northern Iowa wrestling teams, spent the last year as a volunteer assistant coach for the Fresno State wrestling team, which made the jump to the NCAA Division I level this past season.
Colon will be back in Iowa this weekend, where he will be an alternate at at 61 kilograms for Team USA in he UWW Men's Senior Freestyle World Cup Saturday and Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Colon is hoping to get the opportunity to compete in at least one dual this weekend, but either way, he is happy to be back in the state he has called home for most of his life, even if the weather is not quite as pleasant as he was hoping.
"It's not quite as cold as I thought it was going to be," Colon said. "It's nice to be back home. It may seem weird, but I miss the cornfields, the flat, small hills and the lakes. A have a lot of family and friends in town this weekend to watch me and watch the U.S. team. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Colon, after graduating from UNI in 2014, turned to the international circuit shortly thereafter, winning the Bill Farrell International in 2014 while placing fourth in Phase II of the World Team Trials and fifth in the U.S. Open. A year later, Colon finished second in the U.S. World Team Trials, was fourth in the U.S. Open and third in the Cerro Pelado International.
Last year, Colon was an assistant coach at Grand View, where he got to help his younger brother, Jacob, win a second straight NAIA national championship.
Colon's roommate at UNI, Andrew Sorensen, an assistant coach at South Dakota State, had coached with Israel Silva, who went on to become an assistant coach at Fresno State. A couple of phone calls helped Colon land a job at Fresno State, where he is able to continue training at the international level.
It was an offer too good for Colon to refuse.
"I'm training with the Valley RTC guys and the college guys. That's where I'm making my home right now," Colon said. "I've been doing a lot longer live goes, lifting consistently, lots of drills and cardio work twice a day. I'm doing what I need to be doing."
Colon has been told he will compete this weekend, but that call ultimately will be made by Team USA head coach Bill Zadick. Either way, Colon is preparing as if he will start every dual.
"I'm ready to do whatever Zadick needs me to do, I will do it. It's been a while since I've been on a dual team. I'm going into every dual as if I'm going to wrestle," Colon said. "I never thought I would be wrestling this long. I'm going to keep wrestling as long as my body lets me and I'm having success. As long as I'm having fun, I'm going to compete."