Nine wrestlers with Oklahoma State ties will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, this weekend for the 2016 Olympic Team Trials, which are set for Saturday and Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Oklahoma State fans will also enjoy a special bonus as head coach for the Cowboys, two-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time world champion, and Olympic coach John Smith will work as an analyst with the NBC Sports Network, which will televise the trials. The television coverage begins at 6 p.m. (CT) Saturday night and continues on Sunday evening at 9:30 p.m. (CT). The late Sunday coverage is the championship rounds. There will be live coverage of early preliminary matches on the internet on NBC Sports Live Extra from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and on Sunday at 9 a.m. thru 2:30 p.m. and also from 6 p.m. thru 9 p.m. (all times CT).
Oklahoma State will be represented in five of the six Olympic freestyle brackets.
Coleman Scott, a 2008 NCAA champion for the Cowboys, looks to make his second Olympic team in as many attempts. He represented the United States at 60 kg in the 2012 London Olympics, where he took the bronze medal. Having just completed his first season as the head coach for North Carolina, he seeks the spot at 57 kilos, which is the lowest weight he has wrestled at since the 2006-07 season for the Cowboys.
Also competing at 57 kilos is Obe Blanc, who wrestled for OSU in 2009. Blanc won the 2013 World Team Trials and recently qualified for this year’s trials after winning the Last Chance Olympic Qualifier last weekend.
Two-time NCAA champion Jordan Oliver will wrestle at 65 kilograms this weekend as the No. 3 seed, behind reigning World Team member Brent Metcalfe and 2015 World bronze medalist James Green (70 kg). Oliver is a two-time World Team trials runner-up and recently won the Bill Farrell International tournament.
Another two-time NCAA champ Chris Perry will serve as one of two Cowboy representatives at 74 kilograms, after spending the last two years competing at 86 kg. So far at the new weight, Perry has picked up a second-place finish at the US Open, which served as the Olympic Trials qualifier. He enters the Trials as a No. 3 seed and seeks a spot in the finals, where three-time World champion and 2012 Olympic champ, Jordan Burroughs will be waiting.
Former NCAA finalists Clayton Foster and Tyler Caldwell will battle for the Olympic spot at 86 kg.
Eighth-seeded Foster, who has been on the freestyle scene for a while, also qualified at the US Open, finishing sixth at the weight. The former Cowboy 197-pounder has picked up 11 top-three finishes in freestyle events at the junior and senior level.
Caldwell qualified after a seventh-place finish at the Olympic Qualifier in December. In his international career, he has notched championship finishes at the 2015 Pan American Championships and the 2014 World University Championships, competing at 74 kilos.
Thanks to a third-place finish at the Dave Schultz Memorial International, Cayle Byers secured himself a spot in the Olympic Trials at 97 kilos and will enter as the No. 5 seed. Byers, who was an All-American for the Cowboys in 2012, finished third at the Bill Farrell International in November and won the Schultz Memorial International last season.
Current Cowboys Alex Dieringer and Dean Heil each qualified for the Olympic Trials after winning their respective weight classes at the 2016 NCAA Championships in March.
Dieringer, who is fresh off winning his third NCAA title to cap off an amazing collegiate career, comes in with significant freestyle experience as he was a Junior World silver medalist in 2013. Dieringer will join Perry at 74 kilograms.
Heil will wrestle at 65 kilos in his first freestyle tournament. The sophomore for the Pokes just won his first NCAA title at 141 pounds.