U.S. Olympic Team Trials Qualification Process Begins March 15

19/03/2008

(Las Vegas, NV) The time for speculation is over. The time for qualification has begun.

The series of events which serve as qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling get underway on March 15, and will run through May 17. Athletes will earn the chance to pursue their Olympic dream based upon their performance at these qualifying tournaments.

Those who succeed in these qualifying events will be included in the field at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev., June 13-15. The nation’s best wrestlers in men’s freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle wrestling will battle for coveted spots on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.

As the qualification process unfolds, USA Wrestling will be updating the list of qualified athletes after each competition. This information will be posted regularly on TheMat.com (www.themat.com).

The first two qualifying events will be held on Saturday, March 15.

The Armed Forces Greco-Roman Championships will be hosted in New Orleans, La., March 15, with the champions in each weight class earning a spot in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Greco-Roman.

The Women’s Collegiate National Championships will be held at Oklahoma City Univ. in Oklahoma City, Okla., March 15. This event features women athletes competing on U.S. college campuses. The champion in each of the seven World Championship weight classes conducted at the tournament will earn a spot in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in women’s freestyle.

Each of the three Olympic styles of wrestling have their own specific qualification rules. A complete summary of the U.S. Olympic Trials Qualification procedures can be downloaded as a pdf file at:
http://www.themat.com/forms/08OlympicTrialsProcedures.pdf

In all three styles, past U.S. World Team and U.S. Olympic Team members are eligible to participate in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The rest of the field will need to attend the qualifying events in order to compete in Las Vegas.

There will be four Olympic Regional Trials events for men, where champions in each weight class advance to Las Vegas. They are held in Battle Ground, Wash. (March 28-30), Brockport, N.Y. (April 4-6), Waterloo, Iowa (May 8-10) and Pueblo, Colo. (May 15-17). For women’s freestyle, the only Olympic Regional Trials will be in Waterloo, Iowa on May 8-10.

The ASICS University National Championships, set for Akron, Ohio, April 10-13, will also be an Olympic qualifier in all three styles of wrestling.

The major qualifying event for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be the Las Vegas U.S. National Championships, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev., April 24-26. In men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman, the top seven athletes in each weight class earn the trip to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. In women’s freestyle, the top seven in the four Olympic weight classes, and the top four in the non-Olympic weight classes, earn the right to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

By May 17, USA Wrestling will know all of the athletes expected to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Follow the excitement of the qualification process by visiting TheMat.com.

OLYMPIC TRIALS QUALIFYING EVENTS (by date)
March 15 - Armed Forces Greco-Roman Championships at New Orleans, La.
March 15 – Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Championships at Oklahoma City, Okla.
March 28-30 - Northwest Olympic Regional Trials at Battle Ground, Wash.
April 4-6 - Northeast Olympic Regional Trials at Brockport, N.Y.