Five Gopher alums challenged the nation’s best in both freestyle and Greco-Roman over the weekend in Iowa City at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. While every one of these five won at least one of his matches over the weekend, headlined by Pat Smith’s run to the championship series in Greco at 66 kilograms, none of the former Minnesota wrestlers captured a spot on Team USA.
Smith entered the weekend ranked fourth at his weight, meaning he outperformed his seed in making his appearance in the best-of-three series to decide the trials champion. Smith picked up decisions over Christopher Gonzalez and Michael Hooker in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, before squaring off with RaVaughn Perkins for the championship. Smith won the first match, 2-0, before dropping the second match on tiebreaking criteria after the bout ended in a 2-2 tie. Perkins defeated Smith 9-2 in the rubber match to take the top spot.