April 18, 2012
This weekend five wrestlers with Golden Gopher ties will make the trek down I-35 and head to Iowa City, Iowa for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Former Gopher All-Americans Zach Sanders, C.P. and Dustin Schlatter will all be attempting to make the U.S. Olympic Team. Also trying to punch their tickets to London this summer will be Jake Kettler and Pat Smith, who both took an Olympic redshirt year this season for the Gophers in quest for this weekend. Current graduate assistant Kevin LeValley will also be competing this weekend.
Sanders, who finished up his Golden Gopher career last month as the sixth all-time wrestler in the program (134-27) qualified earlier this month by winning the U.S. Olympic Trial Qualifier. The Wabasha native placed third at the 2012 NCAA championships at 125 pounds and became just the seventh Gopher to become a four-time All-American. Sanders will wrestle freestyle in the 55kg/121 lbs. division.
C.P. and Dustin Schlatter who combine won 223 matches in the Maroon and Gold have each had successful careers since exhausting their eligibility. C.P. won the 66kg Greco-Roman division back in October at the 2011 Sunkist International Open. Back in November Dustin Schlatter won the New York AC International in his first competition since dropping down from the 74 kg/163 lbs. division. Dustin was an NCAA champion as a true freshman and three-time All-American.
Kettler, who took an Olympic redshirt this past season for Minnesota will be competing in Greco-Roman at 120 kg/261 lbs. The Ramsey native posted 14 wins during his redshirt freshman season for the Gophers in 2011.
Like Kettler, Smith also took an Olympic redshirt season for the Gophers. He will wrestle Greco-Roman at 66kg/145.5 lbs. Smith has won 21 matches for the Golden Gophers in his career and could square off against C.P. over the weekend.
LeValley, who wrestled for Bucknell University was graduate assistant this past season for the Golden Gopehrs. He will be wrestling freestyle at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
For more information on this weekend’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials click here.
Note: The Olympic Team Trials will air on the NBC Sports Network on a next-day tape delay. The Saturday, April 21 competition will air Sunday, April 22 from 3-6 p.m. (CT). The Sunday, April 22 competition will air from 2-5 p.m. (CT) on Monday, April 23.