Former Waynesburg Central star Coleman Scott has made a significant move towards representing the United States in the 2012 Olympics but the 60 kg wrestler still has a long way to go. Scott, a 3x PIAA Class AAA State Champion and a NCAA Division I Champion at Oklahoma State, defeated Ohio State’s talented redshirt freshman Logan Stiebler in two straight matches to claim the 60 kg Olympic Team Trials Championship on Saturday. Stiebler has been on a roll since winning his first Big Ten Championship back in March before upsetting returning NCAA Division I Champion Jordan Oliver in the finals of this years 133 LBS finals. Stiebler knocked off former Olympian Mike Zadick in the semi-finals before running into Scott. Oliver, a junior at Oklahoma State and also a 3x State Champion from Easton Area High School in Pennsylvania, will be wrestling in tomorrows 66 kg (145.5 LBS) bracket. Coleman Scott stated in an interview following the finals that beating Stiebler in the finals was in a way revenge for Oliver who many thought was robbed of what would have been a match winning takedown in the final seconds of the third period against Stiebler. Scott said he has known Oliver since the later was six years old and with both representing Pennsylvania and Oklahoma State the two naturally have a forged friendship.
As critical of a win it was for Scott, unlike most weights, this Olympic Team Trials Championship means very little in terms of representing the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. First and foremost, the United States has not yet qualified the 60 kg weight class in Men’s Freestyle. Similar to other Olympic sports, a country must earn the right to send an individual representative or team to participate in the Olympic Games. There are two Olympic Qualifying events remaining in wrestling before the 2012 Olympics begin. The first tournament will take place on April 27th-29th in Taiyuan, China. Only countries who have not previously qualified a specific weight class are eligible to compete. For example, the United States has qualified all the weights in Men’s Freestyle, Greco-Roman, and Woman’s Freestyle except for the 60 kg weight class in Men’s Freestyle and the 96 kg weight class in Greco-Roman, therefore the United States may only enter wrestlers at those two weight classes. For the 60 kg Men’s Freestyle weight class the United States is sending two wrestlers to compete at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in China. The two wrestlers are Reece Humphrey and Shawn Bunch. The two are ranked #1 and #2 respectively in the United States 60 kg Freestyle Division and were exempt from competing in the Olympic Team Trials due to ongoing training. In order to qualify the United States in the 60 kg Men’s Freestyle Division either Humphrey or Bunch must place in the top three at the qualifying event in China. In the previous Olympic Games of 2008 the United States failed to qualify the 60 kg Greco-Roman weight class.
If Humphrey and/or Bunch place in the top 3 at 60 kg in Taiyuan, China, then there will be a mini-trial to determine the United States representative. Here is an explanation from TheMat.com…”In the case of 60 kg/132 lbs. in men’s freestyle, if the USA qualifies for the Olympics, a Secondary Olympic Trials will be held. The individual that qualifies the weight class for the Olympic Games will be the number one seed at a Secondary Olympic Trials. The remaining individuals, which could include the other individual held out and the winner of the Olympic Trials (and if necessary, an athlete receiving a medical petition) will wrestle in a single match format. The winner will compete in a best of three series against the individual that qualified the weight division, and the winner will be USA Wrestling’s designee to the Olympic Team.”
Jake Herbert’s situation is much more simple. He won the Olympic Team Trials at 84 kg and he will be the representative for the United States at that weight in London. Herbert was able to break through and make his first Olympic Team after failing to place in the 2008 Olympic Team Trials. Herbert, a World Silver medalist, dropped the opening match of the finals with Travis Paulson by a score of (0-1, 2-1, 1-1). It was the first and only match Herbert would lose at the 2012 Olympic Team Trials. Herbert rallied off two straight victories both in two periods over the veteran Paulson finishing by scores of (4-2, 3-2) and (3-0, 2-1). Paulson was a previous World Team member in 2010 and finished 3rd at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials.
Herbert is the only Pennsylvania native guaranteed to represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games with Coleman Scott still having the possibility.
For full results of the 2012 Olympic Team Trials click here.