SBU Senior Wayne Lamont Headed to World Wrestling Stage

Like many great love stories, it all started with a hoodie.

“In middle school, I saw someone wearing a hoodie that I liked. He told me to come join the wrestling team and I could get one,” said Wayne Lamont. “I joined basically because I wanted the hoodie!”

Now, the Stony Brook University senior will be representing the United States this fall in Constanta, Romania, at the United World Wrestling World Championships, with a possible Olympic appearance in the future.

Lamont’s wrestling story started shortly after spotting that hoodie, although he admits he wasn’t really that good at wrestling. “It wasn’t until freshman year of high school that I got focused, that’s when I really started to make really, really big jumps,” he says.

Lamont was eventually named All-County as one of the top wrestlers in Suffolk County at Longwood High School in Middle Island, NY. Without a clear direction of what he wanted to do, he decided to attend Nassau Community College, where he could still wrestle until he decided what was next for him.

Knowing that he wanted to continue to wrestle in college, Lamont wanted to find a school that would allow him to balance his workload with wrestling, while also setting him up for a bright future. A political science major with a minor in accounting, Lamont hopes to one day work in a field that gives back to the community.

Wayne Lamont wrestles another player in a wrestle match.
Photos courtesy of Wayne Lamont.

“I needed a good school for me to really focus on wrestling and what I wanted to do, so that’s why I decided to go to Stony Brook,” he said. “Funnily enough, one of my friends wrestled at Stony Brook. He was like, ‘Oh, yeah, you should come, we have a great program.’ ”

Lamont wrestles on the Stony Brook Club Team, in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association, while training at a Syosset-based gym, allowing him to be in tip-top shape for matches. He is a self-proclaimed “performance driven” wrestler, focused more on how he executes tactics and techniques on the mat instead of if he wins or loses. This, he says, has been his key to success.

“I tell kids in high school and a lot of people younger than me that are into wrestling that the sport is not the end of the world,” he said. “If you lose a match, nothing bad’s going to happen to you; your family is still going to love you. Your friends are going to still be there for you. And don’t hold winning and losing to such a high pedigree.”

While wise beyond his years, the road to the championships hasn’t been easy for Lamont — a torn rotator cuff and a torn MCL that needed surgery could have thrown him off his path. He said support he has received from the entire Stony Brook community, from his friends and teammates to his teachers, has made all the difference.

“My teachers are actually happy and proud of me,” Lamont said. “And when I became an All-American last year, I told my professors and they were genuinely happy for me. I’ve never experienced that at a university before.”

If wrestling and a full course load isn’t enough, Lamont explained that the support he’s received has allowed him to fully immerse himself in Stony Brook campus life. He currently works in Campus Recreation and participates in different various sport clubs, giving him a break from his difficult training schedule. He especially loves Chess Club. “It’s great. I think it keeps you sharp. Because your brain is a muscle too,” he said.

While he has been able to balance life, his focus now is performing his best at the World Championships September 9-10, where he will compete at 80 kg. Lamont will be competing in the beach wrestling division, which he noted is the third most practiced style of wrestling internationally and is being considered by the International Olympic Committee to be added to the Olympic Games.

Lamont was inspired by a Stony Brook alum to try beach wrestling after injuries prevented him from competing in Greco-Roman team trials. He competed in the world team trials for beach wrestling in North Carolina to be selected to Team USA and go to the world championships.

“I’m excited to represent the United States and represent my school,” he said. “Getting to Stony Brook, having that support and having that belief — having everyone believing in me was the spark for me to be like, ‘Hey, I think I could actually do this.’”

— Emily Cappiello

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