Ex-Fentanyl Addict Makes Remarkable Comeback To Make USA Wrestling World Championships Team

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Chance Marsteller was once a can’t-miss college wrestling prospect. He was also once a fentanyl addict. Now, he’s a USA wrestling world team member.

Marsteller went an incredible 166-0 and won four high school state championships in wrestling-crazed Pennsylvania.

He initially committed to Penn State, which has won 10 of the last 12 NCAA wrestling team championships. But late in the process, Marsteller flipped his commitment to wrestle for two-time Olympic gold medalist John Smith and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

The Cowboys have won a record 34 NCAA championships as a team, but hadn’t won one since 2006. When Marsteller committed in 2013, he was hoping to change that.

But things didn’t go as planned.

Marsteller had a solid but unspectacular freshman season. He competed at both 157 and 165 pounds, finishing the season with a 15-4 record but preserving his redshirt.

The following year, Marsteller went down to 157 pounds for good but struggled mightily. He went 6-5 in competition before being suspended for a violation of team rules. He later left the team altogether.

Marsteller then transferred back home to Pennsyvlania and Lock Haven University.

But before he could take the mat for the Bald Eagles, he was arrested for public exposure and assault police officers.

He later revealed that he was an opioid addict who was addicted to fentanyl.

“Really, nothing in life was important to me,” he said in an interview with FloWrestling.

Thankfully, Marsteller began to get his life in order after the arrest. He re-enrolled at Lock Haven the following year and became an All-American for the first time, finishing fourth at the NCAA Tournament at 165 pounds.

He one-upped himself by taking third as a senior in 2019 and then began his career at the top level while coach his youth club, Steller Trained, outside of Philadelphia.

In 2022, Marsteller reached finals of the qualification tournament to represent the United States at the world championship. However, he fell in a best-of-three series, 2-1, against six-time world champion and 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs.

Chance Marsteller Goes From Fentanyl Addict To USA Wrestling Star

Fast forward one year and Marsteller yet again reached the best of three series against Burroughs, who won the 2022 world championships at 79 kilograms (174 pounds).

Burroughs one the first match in controversial fashion on a late technical violation against Marsteller.

But he battled back, fending off a late charge to match two to even the series.

In the final match, Marsteller trailed Burroughs late but used a four-point throw to come from behind and take an 8-3 victory.

The win qualified him for the 2023 world championship in Belgrade, Serbia. It will be the first time he’ll represent the USA at event.

Truly, a remarkable story.