Trent and Travis Paulson have never officially wrestled one another.
Sure, they’re each other’s best possible training partner and are no strangers to battling on practice mats. As far as tournaments go, though, the twins haven’t yet been forced to become foes.
That’s probably for the best. The Paulsons have been known to come to blows rather often when they do meet on the practice mat, and when they were growing up, their parents never let them wrestle in public for fear of what could happen.
“But sometimes they would make the mistake of leaving us at home,” Trent Paulson said with a grin. “And then it was a royal rumble.”
Those in attendance at this weekend’s United States Wrestling World Team Trials in Council Bluffs could very well find out what would happen if the two met for real.
Trent and Travis Paulson are both competing in the 74 kg (163 pounds) freestyle weight class in the challenge tournament, which starts at 9 a.m. Friday at the Mid-America Center. The two-day event, back in Council Bluffs for the second straight year, features men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling.
The Paulsons, former Lewis Central and Iowa State stars, have their sights set on the exact same goal: win the challenge tournament, then get some revenge on Andrew Howe.
The University of Wisconsin standout defeated Travis 0-1, 1-0, 4-0 in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Championships in late April, then upset Trent 0-7, 1-0, 6-2 in the championship match. That win earned Howe an automatic spot in Friday night’s best-of-three final-round series. . . . . . . . . . . .
The Paulsons’ coach at Lewis Central, Keith Massey, said he’ll expect the same old “royal rumble” if his pupils go head-to-head.
“I can just see them as 9-year-olds, going in there and beating the crap out of each other,” Massey said. “They’ll go nonstop. I’m sure if it gets heated enough, they’ll take it outside afterwards.”
In case they do meet, expect a tamer-than-usual “Paulson Power” cheering section at the Mid-America Center.
Their mother, Mary Ann, said she’ll be rooting for both of her sons to reach that match, but she’d rather not watch them tangle in a real match.
“We’ve never been put in this situation,” she said. “I really don’t know how I’m going to feel, how I’ll cheer or what I’ll do at this point.” . . . . .