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Regional Ready with Harner and Smith
The Flames enter the NCAA East Regional Championship as the event's defending champion, taking the team title during the program's first year back on the wrestling mats. Liberty had four wrestlers win their weight classes during last year's event (Christian Smith at 125 pounds, Tim Harner at 141 pounds, Chad Porter at 165 pounds and Patrick Walker at heavyweight), with the quartet advancing to the national championship.
Liberty's wrestlers, along with grapplers from Delaware State, Duquesne, Gardner-Webb, Millersville and Wagner, will be looking to claim victory in their individual weight classes and punch their tickets to the NCAA National Championship, in St. Louis, Mo.
During today's interview, LibertyFlames.com will be featuring a question-and-answer session with Tim Harner (141 pounds) and Shaun Smith (157 pounds).
1. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
TH - John 3:16 – Short and sweet.
SS - I Corinthians 13:11, because my high school coach consistently quoted this and I really understand the true meaning behind it now.
2. What is your favorite movie and why?
TH - Remember the Titans.
SS - Wedding Crashers, because it is a really funny movie.
3. What is your favorite memory while competing in your sport?
TH - When an opponent from Pittsburgh talked to me during a match.
SS - Winning a state championship my junior year.
4. What is your most embarrassing memory while competing in your sport?
TH – Losing by a major decision against Eastern Michigan to lose the match for the team.
SS - Losing in the state finals my senior year.
5. I came to Liberty because … ?
TH - A mix between having coaches who actually care about me and the stance Liberty takes on a moral basis.
SS - Wrestling, but I'm glad to say there are other reasons now.
6. Share something that people don't know about you?
TH - I'm very gullible.
SS - I want to breed and sell dogs when I get older.
7. What has been your defining moment as an athlete?
TH - Winning a college state tournament and having the opportunity to wrestle at the national tournament.
SS - I don't think it has happened yet.
8. My first car was …
TH - A 1985 Buick Century
SS – A Honda Accord
9. If you could be somebody else for a day, who would you be and why?
TH - President Bush, because I would love to see what it is like to live in the White House.
SS - I honestly don't want to be anyone else but me.
10. Who is your favorite Liberty athlete?
TH - Josh McDougal (cross country/track and field), because anyone who can run under a four-minute mile gets my attention.
11. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
TH - "Trust takes years to build, but only a second to lose."
SS - "Never Quit!
12. If you could change one rule in your sport, what would it be and why?
TH – I think that hands to the face should be illegal, due to the fact that I've been taken down after my opponent poked my eye.
SS – I think weighing in the day before a match/tournament, because making weight the day of is miserable.
13. After graduation I would like to …
TH – I would like to work in college athletics.
SS – I would like to begin a master's degree.
14. When I have an hour of free time, I like to …
TH – I like to spend time with my family.
SS – I like to watch TV.
15. Words that describe me on the athletic field (and why) are …
TH – Unusual, because there are not many people who are 6 feet tall and wrestle at 141 pounds.
16. If you could compete in any sport against any athlete, who would it be and why?
TH – I would like to play basketball with Steve Nash (NBA's Phoenix Suns), because it would be interesting to see how effective he is on the court against an average Joe.
SS - I would love to wrestle Johnny Hendricks (former Oklahoma State wrestler and national champion), because he is an amazing wrestler and athlete.
17. My craziest ambition in life is to …
TH – I would like to go out for defensive back on the football team.
SS – I would like to help start a church back home and help change the lives of people through Jesus Christ.
18. Do you have any pre-match rituals?
TH – I pray for safety and resilience.
SS - Sometimes I pray and I talk to myself a lot.
19. Who is one person in history that you would like to meet and why?
HT - Jesus, because I would like to know things He did to stray away from temptation.
SS - Jesus, because he is my Savior and has changed my life.
20. A place I've always wanted to visit, but never had the chance is (and why)?
TH - Miami, because I've heard the area and beaches are gorgeous.
SS - Hawaii, because it looks and seems like an amazing place to visit.
21. What are four or five things you could not live without?
TH - Water, food, a cell phone, sweat pants and my head gear.
SS – My cell phone, the Bible, God, family and friends.
22. Who is your favorite athlete on your team to watch compete (and why)?
TH - Patrick Walker, because he is so powerful on the mat and his ability to use his power is intriguing.
SS - Anyone who wrestles as hard as they possibly can, leaving it out on the mat every single time.
23. What sets wrestling apart as a sport and makes it appealing?
TH – I like wrestling because of the hand-to-hand contact. Very rarely do I leave a match without some sort of bruise or scratch.
SS - The weight cutting, dedication and all the athleticism.
24. If I won a million dollars, I would …
TH – I would give it back to Liberty or my previous high school.
SS – I would start a church back home.
25. What cartoon character are you most alike (and why)?
TH - Woody from Toy Story. I'm built like him, and with long hair and a cowboy hat, I look like him.
SS - Maybe Bugs Bunny, because I am kind of silly at times and I like to comment on everything.
26. If someone would look at the songs on my iPod, I would be embarrassed for them to see I have this song …
TH – "Who Let the Dogs Out" by the Baha Men
SS – "Sandstorm" by Da Rude
27. The first thing people notice about me when they meet me is …
TH - I'm very blunt about things.
SS - I can be very sarcastic.
28. The last book I read and enjoyed was (and why) …
TH - Wild at Heart, because it was recommended by my coach.
SS - The Bible, because it's very informative. I'm always learning from it!
Previous Sessions of Regional Ready
With Sean Katz and Christian Smith (March 3)