Wrestlers With UNI Ties Take Shot at Olympic Trials
The UNI-Dome will host the final stage of U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualification this weekend. Over 175 wrestlers are expected to compete. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be held on April 9-10 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, IA. Only the champion in each weight class will qualify to compete in Iowa City.
Senior Blaize Cabell will get another shot at competition before graduating from UNI. He will wrestle in the 97-kilo weight class. Earlier this year, Cabell beat No. 8 Billy Smith of Rutgers in a 9-3 decision. He went undefeated in MAC duals for second consecutive year and was the only Panther to secure a 2016 MAC title. He earned his third trip to the NCAA tournament but had to sit it out due to illness.
Max Thomsen, a freshman who competed unattached at 149 pounds this year for UNI, will compete at 65 kilos. Thomsen won three open tournaments and earned bonus points in 13 of his 20 wins. He finished the season with a 20-4 record.
Former All-American Ryan Loder (86K) will be joined by Panther Wrestling Club member Andrew Sorenson (74K). Loder took fifth place at the 2013 NCAA Division I National Championships while wrestling for UNI.
The freestyle division starts in the UNI-Dome 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The second session that includes consolation rounds and the match to determine third place is set for 2:30 p.m.
The men's freestyle championship round is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday. This will be the final event in the series of the Last Chance Trials Qualifier. Anyone who has qualified for the Olympic Trials will not be allowed to compete.
Former Panther All-American Joe Colon qualified for the trials mid-December at the U.S. Senior Nationals and Trials Qualifier in Las Vegas, Nevada. Colon notched tech falls over Kenneth Anderson and Bradley Pataky before pinning Nathan Tomasello in 5 minutes, 22 seconds. His run for the title was cut short when he got pinned by Sam Hazewinkel, a former Olympian.
Colon forfeited his final matches to take sixth place. The top seven finishers qualified for the upcoming trials.
The event will serve as a qualifier for all three styles: women's freestyle (top two finishers qualify), men's freestyle (champion advances) and men's Greco-Roman (champion qualifies).