Cyclones Ready For World Team Trials in Council Bluffs
AMES, Iowa - Several former Iowa State wrestlers will be competing Saturday and Sunday in Council Bluffs, Iowa, at the World Team Trials. The competitors will be seeking to qualify for the U.S. world freestyle team that will be competing at the 2010 World Championships, September 6-12 in Moscow, Russia.
ISU head coach Kevin Jackson, formerly the head coach of the US freestyle team, is confident about the chances of former Cyclones in the tournament.
"I feel good about the guys who have been training here full-time." Jackson said. "They will be ready to perform at a high level at the Trials, we expect those guys to be in pursuit of a spot on the World team."
Past ISU national champion and three-time All-American Nate Gallick (2004-07) will be competing in the 60 kg (132 pounds) weight class. Gallick won the title at the New York AC International tournament this year and was a U.S. Open champion in 2007. He has been previously ranked No. 1 in the country at his weight.
Taking the mat in the 74 kg (163 pounds) division will be former Cyclone national champion and three-time All-American Trent Paulson (2005-08). The Council Bluffs native won a bronze medal at the 2010 Pan-American Championships. He was the winner of the 2009 Team Trial event last season to become a U.S. World Team member at 66 kg (145.5 pounds).
Also competing at the 74 kg weight is Trent's twin brother Travis Paulson. The latter was a U.S. Open champion in 2009 and placed third at the event this season. Travis Paulson was a three-time All-American at ISU (2005-08). The Paulson brothers will be competing in front of their hometown supporters for the second-straight year at the World Team Trials event.
Wrestling in the 84 kg (185 pound) class is former Iowa State All-American David Bertolino (2008). He placed third in the U.S. Open this year and competed at the Pan-American Championships.
ISU's Jake Varner, a two-time national champion and four-time finalist, will be wrestling in the 96 kg (211.5 pound) bracket. Varner was a 2009 U.S. World Team member after dominating the World Team Trials in 2009. He placed second this year in the U.S. Open after winning the event last season.
Jackson stressed the fact that having the best collegiate wrestlers in the Cyclone wrestling room can translate into World and Olympic-medal contention.
"Within in our program we have the structure to allow wrestlers to go past being an NCAA champion to reach their lifelong dreams of being the best in the world," Jackson said.