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Casey Bittner: Salinas born number one wrestler in the country

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV) UPDATE APRIL 21, 2022 at 9:14 p.m.-- Casey Bittner is not your average 11-year-old boy, the Salinas native happens to be the number one ranked wrestler in the country.

"I started wrestling at three years old and I got into it from my dad because he used to fight," Casey said. "I can't even say how much stuff my parents do for me. It takes very much time and my mom cooks for me, makes my bed, just all that stuff. My dad takes me to practice and just helps me do all this stuff."

Casey completed the Trinity Award after winning a national championship in Reno.

He had to outlast 9,000 other competitors and win the Tulsa Kickoff, Tulsa Nationals and Reno Worlds.

Casey's father Drew Bittner and mother Jessica Bittner dedicate themselves to making sure their son gets the best coaching available.

Mr. Bittner even said that he and his wife see each other for around 20 minutes a day.

"What's really interesting is the amount of time we spend together as a father and son," Casey's father said. "We spend 9 to 12 hours a week in a car driving to practices throughout California together. So we train hard and he excels in school."

As Mr. Bittner added it takes a village to raise a child, let alone a champion. Coaches from Standford, D1 wrestling stars and even a former two-time UFC Champion are all helping Casey ascend to the top.

"He's a sponge. The kid wants to learn. He's constantly putting in the extra work that allows him to get better," said former UFC Champion Daniel Cormier. "I think it's a collective effort between his coaches and him and his parents that has allowed him to excel."

Casey and Daniel Cormier high-fiving.

Casey practices at the Daniel Cormier Wrestling Academy four times a week and spends weekends training with wrestling coaches and D1 wrestlers at Stanford.

"I see what I was like as a kid in him," Real Woods, an All-American wrestler from Stanford, said. "I see that he has that attitude, the winning attitude."

Casey isn't just all work, in his spare time he likes to do as all kids his age do and play video games.

He said he can't pick his favorite game but he is really into Fortnite with friends.

Casey said while he always loved wrestling it didn't always result in success and it only recently started clicking. He placed 6th, 4th and 3rd before collecting championships over the last year.

"It takes time," Casey said. "Don't think you're going to be great all of a sudden."

Casey is setting his sights on his next tournament in Las Vegas in May.



The Salinas Police Violence Suppression Task Force and K9 Oakley had a number one ranked wrestler in the country pay them a visit Wednesday.

"I love the coaches and having to learn techniques through everything and everybody. I want to have a lot of trophies for my parents and keep them at their house.

Casey Bittner is 10-years-old and ranked number one in the nation in wrestling for his age and weight class.

Casey is coming off of his third National title earning the Trinity award.

Casey had to outlast 9,000 other competitors and win the Tulsa Kickoff, Tulsa Nationals and Reno Worlds.

Around 8 to 10 kids ranging from ages 6 to 16 years old are eligible to win the Trinity award.

Casey is gearing up for his next tournament in Las Vegas in May.

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23


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