The makeshift sauna in Trent Baun’s home has been an adequate substitute for his morning and evening runs through the mountainous terrain near Colville High School.
Baun, a three-time state champion wrestler, cranks the thermostat up to a searing 90 degrees before stepping on the treadmill, where he sweats out the day’s calories.
Recovering from a recent back injury, the 132-pound senior was forced to scale back the grueling training that has helped him become one of the best wrestlers in the region.
He has been easing his way back for talent-rich Colville, which looks to earn the program’s first State 1A team title next month after finishing runner-up the last four years.
Baun, who hasn’t lost a district, region or state match in his career, said he’s ready to push through the pain in a sport that’s inherently painful.
“It’s going to hurt no matter what, probably pretty bad,” said Baun, who missed six weeks after a flare-up in December. “But I’m going to get through it.”
Baun is Colville’s first three-time state champion, winning titles in the 113-pound weight class as a freshman in 2016, at 120 in 2017 and at 126 last year. Winning a fourth title in four weights would put him in elite company, regardless of classification.
When Mat Classic opens on Feb. 16 at the Tacoma Dome, Baun – assuming he earns a state berth after the upcoming district and regional meets – will be one of two male wrestlers in Washington vying for a fourth state title, joining 2A White River senior Nathan Moore (160), according to Colville coach Randy Cloke.
Fifteen wrestlers in WIAA history have won four state titles, including Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) alum Dalton Young, who won his fourth in 2017 and is wrestling at Stanford.
“I’m not trying to make it a crazy big deal,” Baun said of his pursuit of four titles. “It’s my last year, so I want to have fun and go out with a bang.
“This is the closest we’ve been, team-wise, since I’ve been wrestling here. We all want to be the first team to win a state title at Colville.”
Baun is one of three returning state champions for Colville, including two-time champion Trevor Morrison (160) and John Knight (182), who won his first title last season.
Rueben Seaman (138) is ranked No. 1 in his weight class for Colville, which won the Northeast A league title last week.
“If anyone can come back from a injury and win (a fourth title), it’s Baum,” Cloke said. “He is so consistent, he wrestles that way. He’ll come straight at you. He’s strong, but he’s very calculated. Mental chess game, trying to set something up.”
Baun, a 3.8 grade-point average student who chose NAIA Providence of Great Falls because of wrestling and the school’s medical program, said he isn’t putting any pressure on himself.
“I just love wrestling. It’s a sport that probably tests you the most,” he said. “Nutrition. Staying in shape. And it gets you out there – I’ve seen and experienced a lot of things and met some great people because of it, and I’m just having fun.”