COLUMBIA — Five former and current Missouri wrestlers will be participating at the U.S. Olympic Trials this weekend for a chance to compete at the Olympic Games in London this summer.
Volunteer assistant Joe Johnston (66 kg/145.5 lb.), strength and conditioning coach Nicholas Marable (74 kg/163 lb.), Raymond Jordan (84 kg/185 lb.), Max Askren (95 kg/211.5 lb.), and redshirt senior Dom Bradley (120 kg/264.5 lb.) will each be competing in the freestyle bracket.
At the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Las Vegas, former Missouri All-American Ben Askren was the only qualifier. He eventually competed at the games in Beijing.
“Having this many competitors from Missouri is great,” Tigers wrestling coach Brian Smith said. “It shows how the program is advancing.”
Bradley, at the advice of Smith, took this year off from collegiate competition to focus on the London Olympics.
“Dom is one of the toughest heavyweights in the country,” Smith said. “The year off has allowed him to prepare all year without worrying about folkstyle.”
Folkstyle wrestling is the style used in the NCAA, while Olympic athletes compete in freestyle. Freestyle and folkstyle wrestling differ in their scoring system and the number and length of rounds per match.
“(Smith) told me to take the year off to train at different places to see what it's like,” Bradley said. “It helped a lot, and I have never trained so hard.”
Bradley won the Junior Freestyle World Championship in 2009 and was an NCAA All-American in 2011. Marable won three straight Big 12 Championships for the Tigers from 2008-10 and finished third at the NCAA Championships in 2008. In 2010, Askren was the NCAA Champion at 184 lb. Jordan was a two-time All-American for the Tigers in 2007 and 2008.
The trials are set for Saturday and Sunday in Iowa City, Iowa.