All photos courtesy of Duke Le and Eljay Pena (Tri-Titans Wrestling)
Jaden Le is a highly respective wrestler who will be entering his sophomore season at Rancho Bernardo High in the San Diego area. He began his freshman campaign by dominating all foes he faced and winning such prestigious tournaments as the Hamada Invitational and El Cajon tournament; Le also finished within about from placing at the Sierra Nevada and Five Counties tournaments. Le entered the San Diego Section Masters Meet qualifier tournament as the top seed and the favorite to win it all. However, an injury prevented him from achieving his goal of becoming a CIF state qualifier.
TCW – Jaden, who introduced you to the sport of wrestling?
My dad (Duke) was instrumental in me becoming a wrestler. While taking a break from competing in Karate, he introduced me to Poway wrestling.
TCW – What makes wrestling different than other scholastic sport?
There is no comparison to wrestling from other scholastic sports; you “play” with other sports. Wrestling to me is a lifestyle. I’ve been ingrained with the mindset that wrestling is a martial art. I see it as a fight between two respected opponents, and you must be driven by passion and an indomitable spirit to be successful in your craft.
TCW – How did it feel to win one of the toughest tournaments in the San Diego area, the El Cajon tournament?
There were a lot of ranked wrestlers in my weight class, making the final and wrestling under the center stage got me all excited. The feeling was surreal to have the opportunity to wrestle a highly ranked senior and winning it as a freshman.
TCW – What are you doing now to become a better wrestler for next season?
I’ve been doing physical therapy for my torn meniscus. I hope to get back stronger and better than my physical condition last year. I’ve been lifting a lot to compensate for the lost time off the mats.
TCW – How intensive are the practices at Rancho Bernardo with Jaden Abas and Tyler Badgett?
During the season, I’ve learned a great deal from my wrestling “brothers,” especially from the seniors. Our practices at Rancho Bernardo can get very heated. Everyone in the room works hard and pushes ourselves to the limits. I have a lot of respect for Jaden Abas and Tyler Badgett for their work ethics; I am fortunate to have great training partners.
TCW – How do you handle the demands of being a student and athlete at the same time?
Being a student comes first. I would stay after class, or during my lunch time, I would get tutoring and extra help to stay ahead of the curve.
TCW – Where are you most comfortable on the mat?
I am comfortable in all positions. My coaches have helped me in areas that I have been lacking; the slight tweaks in movements, body positioning, set ups are all accredited to the great coaches over the years.
TCW – Will you be competing in Fargo?
Sadly, I will not be competing at Fargo. I just had gotten out of surgery before the qualifier, so I was unfit to compete.
TCW – Were you disappointed that your season ended due to an injury?
I was heartbroken how my injury came about. I was sitting and waiting to be called for the master semis, and my meniscus slipped out. My dad and coaches did everything possible in the hope of getting me back on the mat. I was looking forward to being able to compete at state because it has always been a dream of mine since winning Kid’s state. Just more fuel to the fire for my sophomore year.
TCW – What is your favorite food to eat?
I love going to All-you-can-eat Korean barbecue. I can never get enough of that stuff!
TCW – Favorite place to visit for vacation and why?
I have been privileged to be giving the opportunity to visit Vietnam the past few years. Being in a third world country, donating food or toys to the orphanages has opened my eyes to many things that I have taken for granted here. I learned more about my culture, and I am thankful for the lifestyle we have here in the states.
TCW – Who would you like to thank for your success in life and on the mat?
I would like to thank my Coach Joe, Dave, Gerry Abas and all the Rancho Bernardo Wrestling Coaches along with all my teammates. I like to thanks to Coach Isaac Pumarejo for all the private lessons over the years. “Uncle Eddie and Eljay’s continual support. Most of all my family, my mom, and brother for their unselfish sacrifice time away from my dad because of me. I couldn’t thank my dad enough for his commitment to me and the everyday encouragement to doing my best