University of Iowa junior Matt McDonough received a wildcard berth to USA Wrestling’s Olympic Team Trials on April 21-22 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.
McDonough, who has been a member of the U.S. Junior World Team, will compete at 121 pounds. McDonough capped his junior season by winning his second 125-pound NCAA title in three finals appearances on March 17 in St. Louis, Mo.
BELOW IS A NEWS RELEASE FROM UI AND USA WRESTLING:
USA Wrestling awards eight wildcard positions for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials
USA Wrestling has announced that the following athletes have been granted a wildcard to compete in men’s freestyle at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa, April 21-22.
Men’s freestyle 55 kg/121 lbs. – Matt McDonough, Marion, Iowa (Hawkeye WC) 55 kg/121 lbs. – Frank Perrelli, Hackettstown, N.J. (New York AC) 60 kg/132 lbs. – Logan Stieber, Monroeville, Ohio (New York AC) 60 kg/132 lbs. – Jordan Oliver, Easton, Pa. (Gator WC) 66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Phillip Simpson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army) 74 kg/163 lbs. – David Taylor, St. Paris, Ohio (Nittany Lion WC) 74 kg/163 lbs. – Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC) 84 kg/185 lbs. – Quentin Wright, Wingate, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
The wildcards include four 2012 NCAA Div. I champions, McDonough for Iowa, Stieber for Ohio State, Dake for Cornell and Taylor for Penn State. Dake is a three-time NCAA champion.
Stieber was a 2011 Junior World bronze medalist in freestyle and a medalist at the U.S. Open a number of times. McDonough and Taylor are past U.S. Junior World Team members in freestyle, while Dake was on a Junior World Team in Greco-Roman. Dake lost in the 2011 University Nationals finals in three periods to current No. 2 on the freestyle team Andrew Howe.
2012 NCAA All-Americans given wildcards are Perrelli of Cornell, Oliver of Oklahoma State and Wright of Penn State. Oliver and Wright were runners-up, and Perrelli placed fourth. Oliver and Wright were both NCAA champions in 2011.
Oliver was a 2010 Junior World bronze medalist in freestyle and was a 2009 University Nationals champion. Wright was a 2008 Junior World bronze medalist and won the 2010 University World Team Trials. Perrelli placed fifth in the 2011 U.S. Open in freestyle and was a 2010 University Nationals champion.
Simpson was a champion at the 2012 Pan American Championships, and has been competing on the Senior level for many years. He is a former NCAA runner-up for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Men’s freestyle wrestling has been awarded 10 wildcards for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, and have used up eight of them. There will be two wildcards still available.
According to U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifying regulations, Greco-Roman has four wildcards available, which will be announced at a later date. There are no wildcards available in women’s freestyle wrestling.
Athletes in all three styles can still qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials by competing in the Final U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifying Tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa, March 31-April 1. The top two in each of the 18 Olympic weight classes will earn a spot in the field in Iowa City.
As part of the wildcard process, the National Coaches are receiving petitions for wildcards up until four calendar days after the Final Olympic Trials Qualifier. The National Coach recommends individuals based on competitive readiness for the 2012 Olympic Trials, injury or illness, and the ability to be competitive at the Olympic Games to a three person committee. The committee either approves, denies or tables each Wild-Card petitioner individually. The committee consists of an athlete representative and two members appointed by USA Wrestling.
Those individuals still interested in petitioning into the Olympic Trials for the final wildcard spots need to contact National Teams Director Mitch Hull or National Coach Steve Fraser for Greco-Roman or National Coach Zeke Jones for Freestyle. This can be done at any time but no later than April 4 for Freestyle and April 5 for Greco-Roman.