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No longer the Bridesmaids, Oklahoma’s Hazewinkel and Frayer earn spots on 2012 Olympic team
By Mike Finn
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Jared Frayer understood the frustration Brent Metcalf — and many of the confused fans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena — felt when the former Oklahoma wrestler defeated the former Hawkeye for the 145.5-pound championship at the 2012 Olympic Trials Sunday night.
So did another Sooner, Sam Hazewinkel, who like Frayer, decided he had waited long enough of playing the bridesmaid role when he defeated 2011 World team member Nick Simmons to capture the 121-pound freestyle championship.
It has been a long battle. It really has,” said Hazewinkel whose highest NCAA finish at Oklahoma was second in 2007 while also settling for runner-up positions in three straight World Team Trials (2005-07) and the 2008 Olympic Team Trials while he was competing in Greco-Roman wrestling.
“It says something about perseverance and keeping your head up and staying positive. The last few years, it got hard. It really did. You get that many seconds, and it becomes its own battle just thinking you can take first. We worked real hard on mental game this year and getting over that hump. I believed it paid off.”
Frayer, who like Hazewinkel is also a current Sooner assistant coach, knows three-fold what it feels like to finish second at such and event.
“Three times, second place,” said Frayer, speaking of finishing second in the 2006, 2009 and 2010 World Team Trials … and whose highest NCAA finish at Oklahoma was also second place in 2001. “This is the fourth time I have been in the finals. I learned a lot from it. This year I am older and wiser and did things right, listened to my body.”
And speaking of listening, Frayer said it did not bother him considering he was the least favorite of the wrestlers in this Championship Series of the 13,712 fans who attended Sunday night’s session and were part of the 54,766 who showed up in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in four sessions Saturday and Sunday.
“I heard them. I love it. I have wrestled in here. I beat Mike Zadick in here and he came back and beat me. I know these fans and they know me,” said Frayer, who spent one year as an assistant (2009-10) at Iowa. “You got to get amped up for it. You don’t see this. You may see it in Iran or Russia, but in the United States, it is awesome.”
When the clock hit all zeroes in the third period of their second meeting in the best of three Championship Series, many of the fans with an Iowa allegiance thought Metcalf had won when he scored a takedown with ten seconds left to apparently win the period — and force a third meeting — by scoring last.
But because Frayer scored the higher-rated move during the period, Frayer was eventually crown Olympic Trials champion.
Hazewinkel and Frayer were joined on the U.S. team — headed for the London Olympics this August — by former World medalists Jake Herbert (185 pounds) and heavyweight Tervel Dlagnev.
In Greco, 132-pound Ellis Coleman — known for his “Flying Squirrel” move in last summer Junior Worlds — and 163-pound Ben Provisor earned trips to their first Olympics, while 211.5 pound R.C. Johnson won the Trials, must first wait to see if former World Team member Justin Ruiz qualifies the weight class in a tournament next weekend in China, then face Ruiz in a special wrestle-off to see if he travels to London this August.
In women’s freestyle, 2008 World champion Clarissa Chun (105 pounds) became the first women to qualify for two Olympics, while 2010 World silver medalist Elena Pirozhkova won at 138.75 pounds for his first Olympics experience.
CHECK OUT WIN’S MORE IN-DEPTH COVERAGE OF THE OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS IN THE NEXT ISSUE, PRINTED MAY 2, 2012.
2012 Olympic Trials — Sunday’s Championship Series
55 KG / 121 pounds
Match 1 – Nick Simmons (Sunkist Kids) dec. Sam Hazewinkel (Sunkist Kids), 3-0,0-5,5-4
Match 2 – Hazewinkel dec. Simmons, 0-1, 1-0, 2-0
Match 3 – Hazewinkel dec. Simmons, 0-1, 4-0, 3-0
66 KG / 145.5 pounds
Match 1 – Jared Frayer (Gator Wrestling Club) dec. Brent Metcalf (NYAC), 5-1, 1-4, 6-0
Match 2 – Frayer dec. Metcalf, 2-1, 0-1, 2-2
84 KG / 185 pounds
Match 1 – Travis Paulson (Sunkist Kids) dec. Jake Herbert (NYAC), 0-1, 2-1, 1-1
Match 2 – Herbert dec. Paulson. 4-2, 3-2
Match 3 – Herbert dec. Paulson, 3-0, 2-1
120 KG / 264.5 pounds
Match 1 – Tervel Dlagnev (Sunkist Kids) dec. Les Sigman (Nittany Lion WC), 3-0, 4-0
Match 2 – Dlagnev dec. Sigman, 1-0, 2-0
60 KG / 132 pounds
Match 1 – Ellis Coleman (NYAC) dec. Joe Betterman (Sunkist Kids), 1-0,2-0)
Match 2 – Coleman dec. Betterman (Sunkist Kids), 0-2, 5-0, 1-0
GR 74 KG / 163 pounds
Match 1 – Aaron Sieracki (Army) dec. Ben Provisor (Sunkist Kids), 1-0, 0-1, 2-0
Match 2 – Provisor dec. Sieracki (Army), 2-0, 1-0
Match 3 – Provisor dec. Sieracki (Army), 1-0, 0-1, 1-0
96 KG / 211.5 pounds
Match 1 – RC Johnson (Sunkist Kids) dec. Pete Gounaridis (Sunkist Kids), 1-0, 0-1, 1-0
Match 2 – Johnson dec. Gounaridis, 0-1, 1-0, 1-0
48 KG / 105 pounds
Match 1 – Clarissa Chun (Sunkist Kids) dec. Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids), 0-2, 1-0, 3-1
Match 2 – Lampe dec. Chun, 0-7, 2-2,5-2
Match 3 – Chun dec. Lampe, 2-0, 2-2, 4-1
63 KG / 138.75 pounds
Match 1 – Elena Pirozhkova (Gator Wrestling Club) dec. Adeline Gray (NYAC), 1-0, 4-0
Match 2 – Pirozhkova dec. Gray (NYAC), 1-0, 3-1