Photo Cred: Ohio Athletics

How Phil Wellington Balances Wrestling and Skating

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Tall and chiseled, Ohio University’s Phil Wellington is not someone any collegiate wrestler would want to go against. The solid 197-pounder has had a great career so far being a three-time National qualifier and currently ranked 14th in the country.

But that is not his most unique feature; Phil is also a passionate skateboarder.

It all started in third grade, when Phil looked for a gift for his friend’s birthday. He went to Walmart and bought his friend the video game, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1. At the birthday party, they played the game the whole night.

“I was like Dad you need to get me this game and a skateboard,” Phil said, “So I just picked it up and have been skateboarding ever since.”

Tony Hawk was just a spark of inspiration for Phil in this hobby. Quickly, his friends joined Phil in skateboarding and formed a little group. They spent their time together hanging out at the skateboard parks.

At one point, Phil got good enough to get sponsored.

“I was actually thinking about making it a career but I don’t know I kinda liked athletics a little bit better,” Phil admitted, “I literally skateboarded every single day when I was little kid so I think I got really really good and I might even have been a better skateboarder at that time than a wrestler. ”

But when he put his focus onto wrestling though, it switched.

The day he joined the Bobcat’s on campus, there has been a little conflict with his skateboarding and wrestling.

Coach Greenlee said, “For Phil and I it’s been a battle since he first got here.”

Even when Phil got roughed up and all bloody in a accident on Morton Hill, Greenlee made Phil wrestle at University Nationals a couple days later.

Knowing there is a risk, Phil keeps this in mind and splits up his time by skateboarding mostly in the summer (four hours a day), only a little while at Ohio University, and keeping off the skateboard during the wrestling season.

Overall, Greenlee believes it’s beneficial for Phil to skateboard. “I think if you’re all wrestling every day and you never have an outlet it’s gonna get pretty old,”

Phil balances not only between his favorite activities but with a heavy course load in his major, mechanical engineering, too. Phil was an Academic All-American and has over a 3.0 GPA.

“I really like to do the best I can in all aspects of life especially in my field of study because I want to graduate with a good GPA,” Phil explained.

Coach Greenlee commented, “I think it’s really amazing what he does to be honest. I mean, our guys sometimes see him going home from the arch(engineering building) when we’re going to lift in the morning. And he is at lifting in the morning. He’s usually right on time.”

Phil put his love for riding on wheels to a project for his Senior Design Capstone class. He, along with some classmates, are designing and building tricycles that are adaptive for children 2-7 with cerebral palsy. After they design and build the tricycles, they are going to give the fun and therapeutic tricycles to a physical therapy clinic in O’bleness.

While he was talking about the project, you could see Phil’s face lighten up with glee.

“I like doing things to help other people. And this project directly helps kids in need. How much more gratifying can you get than that,” Phil beamed.

For now, Phil will give the skateboarding a little rest while he is finishing his last season wrestling as a Bobcat.