April 19, 2012
Broadcast Information • 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Schedule • Complete Bios on 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Athletes • Official U.S. Olympic Trials Website • Dream Team Classic Preview (Jason Tsirtsis Competing)
EVANSTON, Ill. – Former Northwestern wrestlers Brandon Precin and Jake Herbert will compete at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials this weekend in Iowa City, Iowa, with the hopes of achieving their Olympic dreams. Competition runs Saturday, April 21-Sunday, April 22 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Precin (55 kg/121 lbs.) and Herbert’s (84 kg/185 lbs.) freestyle weight classes will be contested Sunday.
Precin, a three-time NU All-American at 125 lbs., is one of 14 entrants in the competitive 55kg/121 lbs. weight class that currently features 2011 U.S. World Team member Nick Simmons, 2008 Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo and 2012 Pan American Champion Sam Hazewinkel.
“It’s an exciting time of the year, it’s what I’ve worked for up until this point and I’m ready to wrestle,” Precin said. “I look back at all the repetitions I did, all the training I did and I feel that I’m ready. I know what I want to achieve, so having that training just makes me feel good. There can’t be any doubts about what you’ve done training-wise, so I’m going into the trials thinking that I can win it.”
This past year, Precin has balanced working as a volunteer assistant coach with the Wildcats while training for the Olympic trials. He qualified for this weekend’s event by placing second at the 2011 Freestyle Olympic Trials Qualifier in December. He competed in a number of other freestyle events throughout the year, finishing runner-up at the 2012 Dave Schultz Memorial International in February and took fifth at the 2011 Dmitry Korkin International in Russia during early October.
“It would mean a lot to me (to make the Olympic team),” Precin said. “It would reflect a lot on the efforts of my support staff, the coaches and athletes here at NU as well as my family and friends. I feel that it would be, not only me making the team, but that it was a team effort. Having a group of people behind me is really what has propelled me to get this far.”
Considered the front-runner at the 84 kg/185 lbs. division, Herbert takes his second shot at the Olympic trials and is one of 14 expected to wrestle this weekend. A two-time NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy recipient at Northwestern, Herbert earned his spot at the trials as a past U.S. World Team member (2010) and by finishing second at the 2011 World Team Trials. Herbert is one of the most decorated athletes in the weight class as he won a 2011 Pan American Championships title, a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships and three-straight (2009-2011) U.S. Open titles.
Other contenders in the 84 kg weight class include Keith Gavin (third at 2011 World Team Trials, runner-up to Herbert at 2010 World Team Trials), Travis Paulson (2010 U.S. World Team) and Jon Reader (2011 Freestyle Olympic Trials Qualifier champion) among others. Herbert finished runner-up to Cael Sanderson at the 2011 World Team Trials, but it has been reported that the Penn State head coach will not compete this weekend.
While past NU greats seek to make the Olympic team, a future Wildcat also will wrestle this weekend. NU signee Jason Tsirtsis has been selected to compete at the prestigious Dream Team Classic all-star match Friday, at 7 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This annual dual pins some of the best high school wrestlers in the country against the top Iowa high school seniors. Tsirtsis is the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country at 145 lbs. and he follows in the footsteps of Herbert who wrestled at the event in 2003.
Fans can watch Precin and Herbert LIVE from the trials as NBCOlympics.com will provide a webcast of the preliminary rounds. In addition, NBC Sports Network will present six hours of next-day coverage of the trials. The first day of Olympic Trials wrestling action (matches from April 21) will be aired on Sunday, April 22 from 3-6 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network. Final day action (April 22) will be aired on Monday, April 23 from 2-5 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network. Click this link to find the NBC Sports Network in your area.
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