U.S. wrestling lands in IC

Former+Iowa+wrestler+Tony+Ramos+talks+to+the+media+in+the+Dan+Gable+Wrestling+Complex+on+Monday%2C+April+4%2C+2016.+The+Olympic+Trials+will+take+place+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+April+9-10.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2F+Jordan+Hansen%29

The Daily Iowan

Former Iowa wrestler Tony Ramos talks to the media in the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex on Monday, April 4, 2016. The Olympic Trials will take place at Carver-Hawkeye Arena April 9-10. (The Daily Iowan/ Jordan Hansen)

In just a few short days, Carver-Hawkeye will play host to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, the most important and challenging tournament of the year for the sport.

Split into three parts — men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle, and men’s Greco-Roman — the trials will take place Saturday through April 10, with the winners of each weight class (18 total) representing the United States in the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Four former Iowa wrestlers — Tony Ramos (57 kg), Daniel Dennis (57 kg), Brent Metcalf (65 kg), and Bobby Telford (125 kg) will compete in the freestyle portion of the event. Current Hawkeye Sam Stoll, who finished fifth at the Greco-Roman world championships last summer, also qualified, though he was injured in a match against North Carolina’s Nick Gwiazdowski late in the season, and it seems unlikely that he will particpate.

Both Ramos and Metcalf are tops at their respective weights, according to USA Wrestling’s pre-seed rankings.

“It’s a great challenge,” Metcalf said. “Nothing is given. It doesn’t matter what seed you are, or what you’ve done in the past — to be on this Olympic team, you have a lot of work to do.”

As with any Olympic qualifying event, nearly every top qualifier has some sort of championship attached to his name. Ramos was a 2014 NCAA Champion and won the U.S. Open in 2015. Metcalf has two NCAA Championships and has been on the U.S. World team for the past three years.

“You have a chance to go out and there and achieve goals and dreams that you set since you were a little kid,” Ramos said. “I think some people might get caught up in that emotion, and I’m just trying to embrace the process.”

Lauren Louive gets her chance

One of the last wrestlers to qualify for the Olympic Trials, Lauren Louive will get a chance to punch her ticket to Rio.

The Last Chance Trials Qualifiers were held on April 1-3 in Cedar Falls, and 24 athletes were added to the Olympic Trials qualifying list.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “I was a little disappointed; the plan was to qualify earlier in the year, but everything happens for a reason. I’m just glad I’m here.”

Women’s wrestling has been an Olympic sport since 2004, and this season, two more weight classes were added for a total of six.

Louive trains with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club and is also an assistant coach with the Cornell College Rams.

Telford competes in Carver again

For much of the 2015-16 college wrestling season, former Iowa heavyweight Bobby Telford has been a noticeable presence around the Hawkeye team.

A member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, Telford has been training in Iowa City and worked with Stoll quite a bit during the season. While a bit of a long shot to make it to Rio, he still could have a chance to do something special in front of a home crowd once again.

“There’s definitely some energy in this arena,” he said. “You can look at it in a way that makes you really excited and happy, or you can walk out of that tunnel and feel the pressure.

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