Carmel wrestling champion competes in International Biology Olympiad


Suhas Chundi

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CARMEL, Ind. – "If you want to rule the world one day, you are going to have to be self-motivated," shouted Carmel wresting coach Ed Pendowski.

It's a hypothesis of sorts that Pendowski wants his wrestlers to remember.

You might even say there's a science to wrestling.

"It's just kind of been fixed in my brain since 6th grade, and it's now something that I just do so I don't really think about it too much anymore," explained Suhas Chundi, a Carmel High School wrestler.

But wrestling is a series of calculations – an experiment of sorts deciding which twist, which hop will work.

"It's not so much about getting the win as it is getting the job done," the junior said.

And the 17-year-old does get the job done!

The Carmel junior came in 4th at the wrestling state championship this year, and next Chundi competes with Team USA – not on the mat, but in the lab!

"Whenever I wasn't sure that I wanted to get up and study, I could hear my coach's voice inside my head just telling me, 'Suck it up and get it done for another day!'"

"We've been fortunate enough to be around some smart cats, but this guy just does it a little bit more," Pendowski described. "The guy doesn't miss practice. He doesn't miss a workout. He doesn't miss a class. He shows up when he's supposed to be there."

Chundi's athletic stats rank just as high as his academic achievements, with a 4.7 GPA, near perfect SAT.

He now adds American Olympian to the list, after making the top four for the American team competing in Hungary for the International Biology Olympiad (IBO).

He beat out 2,000 other students to do so.

Alongside Team USA, Chundi will be tested on theories, analyze plant anatomy, complete experiments.

"After I came back from wrestling practice, I just would go to sleep and then I tried to wake up as early as I could and just hit the books," he said.

Coach says that kind of discipline is exactly what makes Chundi a standout.

"We're competitive, but at the end of the day, we're working with students to prepare them for life," Pendowski said. "This is the truest definition of a student athlete."

"If I can do it, then you probably can," Chundi confidently hypothesized. "It's not rocket science!"

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