MARQUETTE, Mich. –United States Olympic Education Center Greco-Roman wrestlers Aaron Briggs (Turson, Ariz.) and Lee Wildes (Oviedo, Fla.) won berths to the U.S. Olympic Trials with their first-place finishes at the at the 2012 Final U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifying Tournament last weekend, March 31-April1 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
The results put the UOEC’s total at 13 wrestlers who have qualified for a spot at the Trials, which will be held April 21-22 in Iowa City, Iowa.
A junior at Northern Michigan University, Briggs went 4-0 in the 74 kilogram weight class. In the final match, he narrowly defeated Anton Gottfredson 0-1, 1-0, 2-0.
Wildes, a freshman, competed in the 96 kg weight class, defeating Caylor Williams in the title bout 0-5, 3-0, 1-1. Wildes finished with a tournament record of 3-0.
“USOEC wrestled tough and the wrestlers left it on the mat, but we will be taking their mistakes back to the training room to work on before the Trials,” said Coach Rob Hermann.
In the 55 kg weight class, sophomore Dmitry Ryabchinskiy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) placed third, losing to the first-place winner Isaiah Varona.
Three wrestlers placed fourth, seniors Chad Hemerson (Orange, Calif.) at 84 kg and Alex Fleming (Sterling, Va.) at 74 kg and sophomore Jason Chudzinski (Colonie, N.Y.) at 60 kg. Hemerson had a tournament record of 4-2, knocking out teammates sophomores Charles Lewis (Chicago, Ill.), Ethan Dondlinger (Slinger, Wis.) and senior Corey Hope (Carol Stream, Ill.).
Sophomores Nick Alvarez (Miami, Fla.) and Thrasher Porcher (Chuluota, Fla.) wrestled at 66 kg, along with freshman John Bozarth (El Paso, Ill.). Junior Bo Beckman (Orem, Utah) and Parker Betts (St. Michael, Md.) wrestled at 74 kg and 120 kg, respectively.