Riker O’Hearon: Welcome All Competition
By Bill X. Barron – RMN Events Writer
While just eight years old, Riker O’Hearon (Utah) already has the mindset and work habits of those wrestlers destined to be great. Welcoming all competition, Riker travels all over the country seeking out top competitors.
Currently RMN Events’ 2nd-ranked 8-year old at 62 pounds, Riker had a rematch against Aidan Godley of Oregon, ranked 7th in the country for 66 pounders. Having lost to Godley earlier, Riker developed a plan of attack with his coaches, which included blocking Aidan’s shot and then reshooting, to score a takedown and reversal and to win the most recent bout 4-0.
Riker relishes the tough competition that he finds at RMN Events, knowing that when he earned the Triple Crown, Golden Gear, and Ring of Fame that he did it against the best. While taking home the large trophies and heavy belts, Riker relates that he has fun doing so. Riker especially appreciates that all of the RMN staff, in particular Ed and Kelly Despain, have accepted him as “part of the family.”
The championship mindset is a direct result of training with Utah’s top club, Champions, coached by Craig LaMont whom his father Rick thanks for “being an inspiration.” Riker also trains for the state’s national team with Coach Jade Rauser as well as his brother Johnny, a two-time Utah state champion. In addition, Riker receives personal lessons from Grant LaMont, a Utah 3-time state champ and currently a starter for Utah Valley University.
Looking up to World and Olympic Champion Jordan Burroughs, Riker states that what he most admires about Burroughs is that “he does not like losing.” Based on what has made him good at an early age, Riker encourages younger wrestlers to “never give up, keep going no matter what, and accomplish your goals.”
In addition to regular practices, Riker runs on a treadmill and remains after practice to work on extra technique. He also plays baseball and maintains straight A’s in school.
According to his father, wrestling has helped Riker to become “better at expressing his emotions.” Adds Rick: “Riker persistently works on beating those who have beaten him. He constantly seeks tougher partners and is very self-motivated. Riker is a kid who loves wrestling as much as he loves us, which makes all the hard work worthwhile.”