U.S. Olympic Team Wrestling Trials Await Several Buckeyes
April 10, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio- A contingent of Ohio State wrestling letterwinners will head to Iowa City, Iowa, Friday to compete in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Wrestling Trials April 21-22 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Schedule
J.D. Bergman (2004-05; 2007-08), Reece Humphrey (2006; 2008-10), Tommy Rowlands (2001-04), Colt Sponseller (2008-11), Logan Stieber (2012-present) and Nikko Triggas (2008-10) will vie for a coveted spot on the Olympic team that will represent the U.S. at the 2012 London Games. Current Ohio State coaches Lou Rosselli, J Jaggers and Ross Thatcher will be present in Iowa City, coaching the Buckeye delegation. Rosselli, a 1996 Atlanta Games Olympic qualifier, has extensive experience coaching on the international level. Rosselli has helped lead the U.S. Freestyle team at the World Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2011. All three coaches are part of head coach Tom Ryan's staff. Ryan, who just completed his sixth season at Ohio State, will attend the Olympic Trials in a supporting role.
Bergman initially competed in the Greco-Roman style before moving to freestyle on the senior level. Bergman was successful as a Greco-Roman competitor, finishing third at the 2005 World Team Trials. The following year in 2006, he was fourth at the U.S. Open and World Team Trials before qualifying for his second U.S. National Team in 2009 thanks to a third-place finish at the World Team Trials. In 2010, Bergman accomplished an impressive feat, claiming his place on the U.S. World Team after first-place finishes in both the World Team Trials and U.S. Open. Collegiately, Bergman concluded his Ohio State career with three All-America honors as a four-time NCAA qualifier. The Oak Harbor, Ohio, native had a trio of Top 4 finishes at the national tournament, including second-place in the heavyweight division his senior season. Bergman also was a three-time Big Ten championship runner-up, finishing second in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Beginning his collegiate career at 197 pounds, Bergman moved to heavyweight at the start of 2008 and compiled a career mark of 129-36.
Following a stellar high school career at Lawrence North in Indianapolis, Ind., Humphrey was the 2008 University freestyle national champion before winning the Silver Medal at the 2008 University World Championships. Successfully defending his freestyle title at the 2009 edition of the University National championships, Humphrey also won the Greco-Roman championship. Earning a place on the University World Team, Humphrey went on to win the Bronze Medal at the 2010 University World Championships. Humphrey wrapped up his career at Ohio State as a four-time NCAA championship qualifier with a 117-33 overall record. The 2009 Big Ten and NCAA Championships runner-up at 133 pounds, Humphrey also was the 2010 Big Ten runner-up (141 pounds). During the 2005-06 and 2009-10 seasons, Humphrey led the Buckeyes in wins with 26 and 34, respectively.
At the conclusion of his storied collegiate career, Rowlands won his first international title in 2005 at the University World Championships. In the 2007 and 2008 U.S. Opens, Rowlands captured two more Gold Medals, in addition to finishing first at the 2007 World Team Trials. Following a brief retirement in 2008, Rowlands returned to training for the 2012 Olympics and earned his third spot on the national team courtesy of a third-place finish at the U.S. Open and World Team Trials. During his time at Ohio State, Rowlands won a pair of NCAA heavyweight titles in 2002 and 2004. The first Buckeye to earn four All-America honors, the Hilliard, Ohio, native, who also claimed consecutive Big Ten titles in 2002 and 2004, remains a fixture in the Ohio State records book as the all-time leader in career wins (164), career team points (702) and career takedowns (705). Additionally, his career record of 164-14 (.921) ranks fourth all-time in Buckeye win percentage.
Sponseller, a two-time University National Freestyle champion, was the runner-up at the 2011 World Team Trials. At Ohio State, Sponseller became a three-time NCAA championships qualifier (2009, 2010, 2011) and was the 2010 and 2011 Big Ten Championships runner-up at 165 pounds. During four seasons, the native of Glenmont, Ohio, amassed a 105-24 record, which ranks him in the Top 10 in the Ohio State records book in career win percentage. Sponseller also finished his senior and sophomore seasons as the team leader in wins with 25 and 34, respectively.
Earning a wildcard berth to the Olympic Trials, Stieber was the 2011 runner-up at the FILA Junior World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, and prior to that was the FILA Freestyle Junior National champion. The USA Wrestling national championships titlist in the freestyle division, Stieber was the Cadet and Junior Greco-Roman champion. Additionally, Stieber finished third at the 2009 U.S. Open and was fourth at the World Team Trials. The 2012 Big Ten and NCAA Champion at 133 pounds, Stieber finished the 2011-12 campaign with a 33-2 overall record. Concluding his redshirt freshman season this spring, the Monroeville, Ohio, native was the team leader in pins with 16. During the Big Ten and NCAA championships, four of Stieber's nine victories were bonus-point wins, including consecutive pins in the opening rounds of the national tournament.
A Greco-Roman specialist, Triggas won five Gold Medals combined at the University and Junior Team Trials (2010), University National Championships (2009) and Pan American Championships (2007 and 2008). Triggas also earned the Bronze Medal in the freestyle competition at the 2007 Pan American Championships, while claiming the Gold in freestyle at the 2008 edition of the Pan Am games. A 2010 All-American at 125 pounds, Triggas was a three-time NCAA championships qualifier from 2008-10. The Moraga, Calif., native finished fifth at the 2010 Big Ten Championships and led the Buckeyes in falls with 15. Subsequently, Triggas moved into a tie for fifth place in the program records book in single-season pins. He also improved to fifth all-time at Ohio State in career falls with 37. Overall, Triggas compiled a 72-54 collegiate record.
Ohio State Buckeyes competing at 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Wrestling Trials