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Thursday, September 28, 2023

2010 National Champion Andrew Howe will compete for a spot on the U.S. Wrestling Team for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Wrestling: Six Badgers chasing U.S. Olympic spot

Six current and former members of the Wisconsin wrestling team and coaching staff hope to earn a spot on the U.S. team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London at the Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa.

Juniors Andrew Howe and Travis Rutt, redshirt sophomore Tyler Graff, incoming freshman Jesse Thielke, assistant coach Ryan Morningstar and volunteer assistant coach Trevor Brandvold will wrestle April 21-22 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Rutt and Thielke will take part in the Greco-Roman competition and Howe, Graff, Morningstar and Brandvold will compete in the men’s freestyle.

“I’m not sure many other universitites can say they have that many guys competing,” Wisconsin wrestling head coach Barry Davis said. “It shows that our program is moving in the right direction with the right athletes and coaches.”

Davis added that the chance to wrestle in the Olympics is a special opportunity for members of his team.

“I think wrestling in the Olympics means you’ve made it to the highest level,” he said. “There is no better country than this country, and to represent your team, country and family all at one time is unbelievable.”

Howe, Rutt and Graff all took Olympic redshirts this season in preparation for the Olympic Trials.

Howe was the 2010 NCAA Division I Champion at 165 pounds and is a three-time All-American at that weight.

Rutt was a 2011 All-American after taking seventh place at 184 pounds at the 2011 NCAA Division I Championship.

Graff is a two-time All-American at 133 pounds and has been nationally ranked in freestyle since high school.

Ten wrestlers with ties to the University of Wisconsin have competed in the Olympics including four former Badger wrestlers and six that have served on the coaching staff.

Former assistant coaches Ben Peterson, John Peterson and Dave Schultz all took home gold. Ben Peterson won the freestyle 90 kg competition in 1972, John Peterson won freestyle at 82 kg in 1976 and Schultz won Freestyle at 74 kg in 1984.

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