The better Ben Walling

Same-name Lakers compete for arbitrary title

By Alex Eisen | 1/27/16 7:04pm

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GVL / Kevin Sielaff - Ben Walling (63) back pedals to block Bart Williams (6). Grand Valley squares off against Michigan Tech Oct. 17 at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale. The Lakers defeated the Huskies with a score of 38-21.

by Kevin Sielaff / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Ben Walling, meet Ben Walling. Same name, no relation, both Grand Valley State varsity athletes.

In an effort to get to know them better and investigate this unusual coincidence, the Lanthorn decided to put them to the test on Jan. 26 with a friendly competition to determine who the superior Ben Walling is on campus. A “Battle of the Bens,” per se.

AE: Before we get started, go ahead and share a little bit about yourself and how about a nickname to go by for the rest of the interview, so it’s easier to tell the two of you apart.

BW/BF: Well, I’m the football Ben Walling. I play offensive tackle. My nickname is “Beef.” They call me Beef on the team a lot, so that’s what I’m known as around campus with the guys.

BW/BN: I’m the other Ben Walling. I swim instead of play football. I’m just known as Ben. I’m a sprint freestyler, so my job is to swim the 50 (meters), 100 (meters) and the relays. Get points and win.

AE: All right, I got a series of “When was the last time you…" prompts. Outdo your same-name counterpart and walk away with bragging rights. Let’s start with, when was the last time you attended a GVSU sporting event that you didn’t participate in? What was it?

BF: It was last Saturday (Jan. 23) at the men’s basketball game against Northwood.

BN: It was GVSU women’s soccer versus Ferris (Oct. 30), because we’ve had meets the past couple of weekends so I couldn’t make it to the basketball games.

AE: When was the last time you got injured? What was the cause?

BN: I was swimming and wasn’t paying attention and kind of smashed my face into the wall because usually we have flags to mark where you are – so when you’re on your back you don’t hit your head – and I just didn’t look. Two weeks ago, but I’m fine now.

BF: My latest injury was in August. I got a concussion during fall camp, but I’ve been healthy ever since then.

AE: When was the last time you worked out? What was your routine?

BF: The last time I worked out was on Sunday (Jan. 24), on my own, just upper body lifts trying to get my upper body stronger because that was one of my weak points in the season.

BN: This morning (Laughs, looks over to BF) Sorry. Actually at 7:45, so we got to sleep in. Usually we are at 5:45. I did upper body lifts, some squats and dead lifts.

AE: When was the last time you skipped a workout? And why?

BN: I haven’t this season yet. I was sent home early yesterday because I was sick, but I haven’t missed a workout.

BF: I can’t recall the last workout I’ve missed that was mandatory, honestly.

AE: When was the last time you cheated on your athletic diet?

BN: Oh man. Probably yesterday. I had an ice cream cone. I deserved it, I earned it.

BF: Depends on what your definition of an “athletic diet” is. As an o-lineman, I really don’t have much of a diet. I guess last night I ate a pizza.

AE: When was the last time you went out of your way to help a teammate? Who was it and what did you do?

BF: That’s a hard one. I’m with so many of the guys. I think I gave somebody a ride when they needed to go somewhere like last week, or something.

BN: I helped my friends with math homework last semester, but that’s not recent… I think a week ago or so I helped a friend out with their position for backstroke.

AE: When was the last time you skipped a class?

BN: Ah, would have had to be in December for our midseason meet. I know for sure for our conference meet I’ll have to miss like five classes, so I’m trying not to skip any until then.

BF: My last class that I skipped was the week before finals when we were playing in West Virginia. Missed all the Friday classes.

AE: When was the last time you felt on top of the world?

BF: I felt on top of the world after we beat Colorado State – Pueblo in the Division II regional championship. We went out there, beat them and it was awesome.

BN: Our midseason meet, Calvin (Invitational), back in December. I got all best times on my events and I won the 100 (meters) free. I just felt really accomplished because I’m working hard this season and I’m glad to see it all pay off.

AE: Lastly, and probably the most important, when was the last time you read the Lanthorn?

BN: Actually, I’m not sure if it was the Lanthorn or a different newspaper, (the article) about the stealing from the Laker Store. Was that the Lanthorn?

AE: Yes, it was.

BN: So, yesterday. So, I win.

BF: Mine was actually yesterday as well…

BN: Oh man.

AE: We are going to need the time. (Laughs)

BF: I was killing time in the DeVos (Center) downtown between classes and picked up the article about stealing from the Laker Marketplace.

AE: Fair enough. That’s all I got for you.

BN: So, who is the better? Who is the winner?

AE: I think it's only fair to say that Ben Walling is the winner.

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