Ten Pennsylvania Wrestlers Have Eye on Rio at Olympic Team Trials

The road to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil begins in Iowa City, Iowa for ten Pennsylvania wrestlers who will be competing for a spot in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Photo of Jake Herbert by Tony Rotundo of WrestlersAreWarriors.com

Pennsylvania Wrestling will be represented in both Women’s and Men’s Freestyle in Iowa City with hopes of matching the 2012 Olympics Games where two Keystone State grapplers competed in London, England.

One of those wrestlers from 2012 was Coleman Scott (Waynesburg Central / Oklahoma State) who left London with an Olympic Bronze Medal. Scott, a 3x PIAA State Champion and NCAA National Champion, will be in search of his second straight trip to the Olympics but this time at 57 kg./125.5 lbs. Much has changed since 2012 for Coleman who in ten days will celebrate his 30th birthday. Coleman recently completed his first season as the head coach at the University of North Carolina where he saw seven of his wrestlers compete in the NCAA National Tournament.

Coleman won an Olympic Bronze Medal at 60 kg/132 lbs. in 2012 but with the UWW changing the Olympic weight-classes in 2013 Scott was forced to drop down to 57 kg/125.5 lbs. Balancing being a head coach at a NCAA Division I program in addition to training, weight-management, and being a husband and father at 29 years old is difficult for even the world’s best athletes. However if anyone knows how to defy the odds it is Coleman Scott.

Fellow 3x PIAA State Champion and WPIAL wrestler Nico Megaludis (Franklin Regional / Penn State) is coming off his fourth NCAA All-American finish capping his career with a NCAA National Title. Nico will look to make his transition into Freestyle in big fashion at the Olympic Team Trials.

Two Pennsylvania wrestlers will compete in arguably the deepest weight-class of the 2016 Olympic Team Trials at 65 kg/143 lbs. Former 3x PIAA State Champion and NCAA National Champion Jordan Oliver (Easton Area / Oklahoma State) has been on the Men’s Freestyle circuit for the better part of four years now. Jordan competed in the 2012 Olympic Team Trials at 66 kg and had a tough draw meeting Brent Metcalf (Iowa) in his first bout. Fast forward four years and Oliver is a much different and improved Freestyle wrestler who will be in the mix at 65 kg. Joining Oliver is Penn State redshirt sophomore Zain Retherford (Benton Area / Penn State) who is coming off an undefeated season that was capped with a NCAA National Championship.

Three of the best College wrestlers of recent memory from Pennslyvania will all compete at 86 kg/189 lbs. in the 2016 Olympic Team Trials. The 86 kg field became crowded when stars Kyle Dake and David Taylor elected to move up a weight-class away from Olympic Gold Medalist Jordan Burroughs. All three Pennsylvania wrestlers competed in the 2012 Olympic Team Trials and one, Jake Herbert (North Allegheny / Northwestern) joined Coleman Scott in London, England at the 2012 Olympic Games. Herbert took two years off from competing following the Olympics and reevaluated his future. Ultimately Herbert returned to Freestyle and in 2015 won both the U.S. Open and World Team Trials. Herbert was also a Pan-Am Games Silver Medalist.

The 31 year old Herbert will have his hands full at 86 kg with a loaded field but it is evident Jake is still the guy to beat. Two of those tough competitors are Pennsylvania wrestlers Ed Ruth (Susquehanna Township / Penn State) and Keith Gavin (Lackawanna Trail / Pittsburgh). Ruth is a 3x NCAA National Champion for Penn State who is hoping to compete in the Olympics before a career in MMA. Gavin, an Assistant Coach at the University of Virginia, was a NCAA National Champion for Pittsburgh and in 2012 finished third at the Olympic Team Trials. Gavin is a decorated Freestyle wrestler who will hope to break through to the top for the first time.

Also competing in his second Olympic Team Trials is heavyweight Justin Grant (Easton Area / Bloomsburg). The former Red Rover and current University of Buffalo Assistant Coach went (2-2) four years ago at the Team Trials and like many Pennslyvania wrestlers on the list has been on the Freestyle circuit for quite some time.

Two of Pennslyvania’s best women’s wrestlers will compete in their first Olympic Team Trials. At 53 kg/116 lbs. 2016 Women’s College National Champion Samantha Klingel (Pleasant Valley / King College) will be competing in her first Olympic Team Trials. The Pleasant Valley High School grad will be joined in the Women’s Freestyle Tournament by Francesca Giorgio (Wilson (West Lawn) / Simon Fraser). The 2x WCCA National All-American will compete at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

Visit TeamUSA.com for complete information on the Trials!


Women’s Freestyle


53 kg/116.5 lbs.

Samantha Klingel, Kregesville, Pa. (King)


63 kg/138.75 lbs.

Francesca Giorgio, Reading, Pa. (Simon Fraser)


Men’s Freestyle


57 kg/125.5 lbs.

Coleman Scott, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Sunkist Kids)

Nico Megaludis, Murraysville, Pa. (Penn State/Nittany Lion WC)


65 kg/143 lbs.

Jordan Oliver, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)

Zain Retherford, Benton, Pa. (Penn State/Nittany Lion WC)


86 kg/189 lbs.

Jake Herbert, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC)

Keith Gavin, Charlottesville, Va. (Titan Mercury WC)

Ed Ruth, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)


125 kg/275 lbs.

Justin Grant, Bloomsburg, Pa. (New York AC)


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