Meet a Five-Sport Athlete: Chase Mullenix

Senior Chase Mullenix has decided to dual-sport with basketball and wrestling for the 2018 season.


LOOK CLOSE — Senior Chase Mullenix turns his attention towards the game. Mullenix has played an active role in the athletic program during his years of high school, participating in football, basketball, wrestling, track and baseball.

Involved is an understatement when it comes to Chase Mullenix and athletics. For the past three years, Mullenix has participated in four sports year-round: football, basketball, track and baseball. However, this year he will not only be a four-sport athlete but a five-sport athlete. Mullenix has decided to dual-sport basketball and wrestling for his senior year, with basketball as his primary sport. “I will go to every morning wrestling practice and every after-school basketball practice,” he said. According to Mullenix, he will only miss a basketball practice if there is a wrestling meet.

For four years, Mullenix has been a part of the boys’ basketball program and a varsity starter for two of those years. Over the past summer, he attended open gyms to prepare for the season, with a focus on ball handling skills and his jump shot. Some of his goals for the season include a winning record for the team and achieving First Team All-Conference. “We’ve been a good program so we want to keep that going,” Mullenix said. He enjoys playing in many games throughout the season and said he doesn’t tire from the constant back-and-forth on the court due to the conditioning that the team is provided, finding difficulty only when guarding the best player of the opposing team.

I know I’m gonna be a little rusty at the beginning.

— Chase Mullenix

However, Mullenix hasn’t always played basketball. Throughout middle school he was a wrestler, making the switch to basketball his freshman year after being “persuaded” by former head coach Alan Jenkins and former assistant coach Brandon Krause to give basketball a try. He agreed and “gave wrestling a break,” before deciding to do both this year. Mullenix made this decision because he saw an opportunity to help. Weighing around 170-182, he would be able to “fill a spot” for the wrestling team. “I know I’m gonna be a little rusty at the beginning,” Mullenix said. He hopes to win matches whenever possible to “help the guys out” and improve as the season goes along.

When it comes to concerns about the impact that dual-sporting may have on him, Mullenix doesn’t have many. By staying positive he feels that he can overlook the sore muscles and early mornings. “If I get down on myself, things could go bad,” Mullenix said. Although waking up at 5:30 a.m. every day for wrestling practice and getting home late from basketball games “isn’t very fun,” he plans to keep an optimistic outlook during the seasons.

If I get down on myself, things could go bad.

— Chase Mullenix

According to Mullenix, head basketball coach Jeff Ebling has “iffy” thoughts about the double duty. Describing Mullenix as a key player to the team, Ebling worries that he may get tired for games with the heavy load. On the other hand, Mullenix said head wrestling coach Tim Duff is “pretty excited” about his return to the mat and contribution to the team.

To complete the five-sport rotation, Mullenix also participates in football, track and baseball. This year, he played quarterback and defensive back on the football field, earning Elite Team defensive back and First Team defensive back. Previously he had also earned Second Team defense during the 2016 season and First Team receiver in 2017. On the court, Mullenix is a guard and earned Second Team All-Conference his junior year. Acting as pitcher and first baseman in the summer, Mullenix earned an honorable mention for baseball his freshman year, Second Team All-Conference his sophomore and junior years and First Team All-Conference for the past season. His main events during track include the 400m and 800m run. To cap off his junior year, Mullenix became a four-time state champ, earning gold in the 4x800m relay, 800m run, 4x400m relay and the distance medley.

Planning to take his talents on the track to Iowa State University, Mullenix officially signed on Thursday, Nov. 15. Looking excitedly towards the future, he would like to get his time in the 800m run down to 1:47 or 1:46. “Iowa State has picked up some really good recruits so they’re already a good program. Hopefully, we can keep heading in the right direction and become top in the Big 12,” Mullenix said.