March 28, 2012
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials recently got a little more interesting and a lot more rewarding for Hawkeye wrestlers and fans. University of Iowa junior Matt McDonough has entered the tournament field, while former Hawkeye Brent Metcalf now knows there's a ticket to London at the end of his tournament bracket.
Both wrestlers will compete for a spot on Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City on April 21-22. Carver-Hawkeye Arena will host the event.
Metcalf, a 2008 and 2010 NCAA champion, officially qualified the 66kg (145.5 lbs.) weight class for the 2012 Summer Olympics by placing second at the FILA Pan American qualifying tournament last Sunday. He needed a top-two finish at the tournament to secure the bid, and he equaled the task by pinning Colombia's Edison Hurtado Lerma in the semifinals.
Metcalf needed to qualify the weight to have any chance of competing in London in August, but said having the weight qualified doesn't alleviate the pressures of reaching the ultimate goal.
"There's still pressure because it's an Olympic year and it's an Olympic team," said the 2010 World Team member. "Even if I didn't qualify the weight, the pressure of making the Olympic team is still there. That's the next goal.
"What I need to do now is get ready to wrestle and win the Olympic Trials here in Iowa City."
Metcalf will be joined in Iowa City by McDonough, one of eight NCAA wrestlers awarded a wildcard berth in the Olympic qualifying field. He'll compete in the 55kg (121 lbs.) weight class. The wildcard bids were announced by USA Wrestling on Monday.
McDonough's addition to the field now means Iowa has seven former wrestlers competing for a spot on the Olympic team. They include Metcalf, Phil Keddy (84kg), Todd Meneely (66kg), Steve Mocco (120kg), Ryan Morningstar (74kg) and Mike Zadick (60kg).
The number of former Hawkeyes in the field could grow after the final U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying tournament in Cedar Falls this Saturday. Former Iowa All-Americans Daniel Dennis, Luke Lofthouse and Joe Slaton need top-two finishes in their respective weight classes to qualify for the Trials and be among the growing list of competitors.
There are nearly 250 wrestlers already qualified to compete for the chance to represent the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London in August. Winners from each weight class in three Olympic events -- men's freestyle, women's freestyle and Greco-Roman -- will be determined on a single day. Prelims, quarterfinals and semifinals begin at 9 a.m. (CT) with finals starting at 6 p.m. (CT). All sessions will be held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Nine members of the U.S. Olympic team will be decided Saturday, April 21, including men's freestyle (60kg, 74kg, 96kg), women's freestyle (55kg, 72kg), and Greco-Roman (55kg, 66kg, 84kg, 120kg).
The final nine representatives will be decided Sunday, April 22. They include competitors from men's freestyle (55kg, 66kg, 84kg, 120kg), women's freestyle (48kg, 63kg), and Greco-Roman (60kg, 74kg, 96kg).
Single-day and all-session tickets are available for purchase at iowacitytolondon.com or over the phone at 800-424-2957. Single-day tickets are $40 for adults and $25 for children high school age and younger. All-session tickets cost $70 for adults and $40 for children high school age and younger.