Ex-Husker Burroughs qualifies for Olympics - Omaha.com
Published Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 9:15 pm / Updated at 12:19 am
WRESTLING
Ex-Husker Burroughs qualifies for Olympics

Video Below: Sights and sounds from the Olympic Trials (April 21)
Photo Showcase: Olympic Wrestling Trials, April 21

* * *

IOWA CITY — It wasn’t how Jordan Burroughs dreamed of becoming an Olympian. But he isn’t complaining, either.

Burroughs became the 10th former Nebraska wrestler to reach his sport’s biggest stage Saturday night when he swept Andrew Howe in the best-of-three-match championship round at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials. The result continues a spectacular run for the two-time NCAA champion, who also claimed a world gold medal last year.

But in an odd twist, Burroughs celebrated his latest accomplishment in the bowels of Carver-Hawkeye Arena rather than on the mat. About half an hour after winning his first match against Howe 4-2, 1-2, 1-0, the former NU standout was informed that his opponent had suffered a knee injury and would default the bout.

“That’s not the way I wanted to win or the way I hoped to win,” Burroughs said. “But part of being the best is staying healthy. I made the team, and I’m going to London.”

Nebraska coach Mark Manning, who still works with Burroughs, said he got a call breaking the news about 10 minutes before it reached the near-capacity crowd of 13,750.

“It is what it is as far as the process to make the Olympic team,” Manning said. “Now he made it. For us, this is one step closer to winning an Olympic championship.”

Burroughs, at 74 kilograms (163 pounds), was one of nine wrestlers to qualify for the Games in London, set for Aug. 5 through 12. Every championship round was decided in a sweep.

Nine more spots will be contested Sunday.

Iowa State graduate Jake Varner won his weight after enjoying a bye into the freestyle finals. A bronze medalist at last year’s World Championships, Varner dispatched Tommy Rowlands 0-1, 2-0, 1-0 and 2-0, 1-0 at 96 kilos (211.5 pounds) after finishing third at the 2008 Olympic Trials.

“I’m going (to London) to win the gold medal or else I wouldn’t be doing this,” Varner said. “I’m just going to be real happy and excited that the work’s paid off and to bring home a gold medal.”

Two other wrestlers with ties to the state of Iowa also reached the finals. Justin Lester, at 66 kilos in Greco-Roman, worked his way past CP Schlatter 1-0, 2-0 and 2-0, 1-2, 1-0 for an Olympic bid. Lester attended Iowa State briefly in the early 2000s.

Jordan Holm, who attended Northern Iowa, fell in the Greco-Roman 84-kilo class 1-0, 0-3, 2-0 and 2-0, 2-0 to Chas Betts despite loud crowd support.

“I think something as painful as this will probably take a few days to kick in all the way,” Holm said. “I’ll probably be feeling it quite a bit over the course of the next few days.”

Burroughs will be breathing relief more than anything. Manning said his wrestler seemed “about 80 percent” while waiting around all day to compete. The 23-year-old himself admitted to some nerves — the most he’s dealt with since the world finals a year ago.

Burroughs had earned three wins before Saturday over Howe, who was taking an Olympic redshirt year at Wisconsin. No. 4 felt a little strange.

“No matter how the process was,” Burroughs said, “as long as the outcome was the same.”

* * *

Video: Sights and sounds from the Olympic Trials (April 21):

Contact the writer: Evan Bland

evan.bland@owh.com    |  

Evan Bland is a staff writer for The World-Herald. He primarily covers western Iowa high school sports.

Nebraskan hopes foot injury won’t stop him from making a run
Dressed to the nines
McCook’s Heritage Hills gets ‘new, refreshed look’
UNO hoops adds forward Daniel Meyer; Krych transfers
State Department moves to delay Keystone XL pipeline decision
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
Friday's attendance dips at Millard West after bathroom threat
Ex-PTO treasurer in Iowa pleads guilty to felony theft
Spring practices going well for Eagles
Hoops coach Donnie Johnson out at Benson
Game of the Week: Metro Conference baseball tournament
Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet
Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita
New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week
Nebraska AIDS Project seeking designers for Condom Fashion Show
March unemployment rates up slightly in Nebraska, Iowa
Man pleads not guilty in death of former roommate whose remains were found buried in basement
Iowa officials announce plan for Microsoft data center
What's going on this weekend?
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour
High court denies death row appeal of cult leader convicted of murder
Nebraskan is killed in car-SUV collision
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
Lincoln pharmaceutical company wins funding, grant
ON TWITTER »

VIDEO »
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Blog: Dirk's 'Mad Chatter'
Dirk Chatelain offers his thoughts on the latest news from around the sports world, complete with links to the best articles, opinion columns, YouTube videos and more.
Civic Auditorium Timeline
World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel asked readers for their favorite memories of the Civic Auditorium. We combined their submissions with a few key events or moments in the auditorium's history.
CWS: Banner Years
The College World Series historical database, a growing home for historical information about past NCAA baseball championships, which have been played in Omaha since 1950.
Downtown Omaha event map
Discover the area surrounding the CenturyLink Center, TD Ameritrade Park and downtown Omaha -- including restaurants, arts & entertainment venues, hotels and local retail outlets.
Facebook: Tom Shatel's page
Get Tom Shatel's sports columns delivered straight to your Facebook feed.
Follow Tom Shatel on Twitter
Get instant analysis and commentary from World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel on Twitter.
Nebraska high school basketball's greatest night
Four elite teams. Two buzzer-beaters. One packed house. On March 11, 1989, the stars aligned and produced the best night in Nebraska high school basketball history.
Shatel's blog
Check out the latest from World-Herald sports columnist Tom Shatel.
Shatel: Tom's Take on 20 Unforgettable Years in Sports
Get World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel's book "Shatel: Tom's Take on 20 Unforgettable Years in Sports."
Super Bowl: Through the years
The Super Bowl is a yearly media madhouse. See how The World-Herald sports section's front pages portrayed each of the Super Bowl victories won by those players celebrated in our Mt. Rushmore of Super Bowl QBs.
Talk sports with World-Herald reporters
World-Herald reporters log on to talk about the latest news surrounding the Huskers, Jays, Mavericks, high schools sports and more. Check out the upcoming chat schedule or replay the latest discussions with the fans.
The disappearance of small-town football
Friday night lights across rural Nebraska are going dark. But one town, in its last season of gridiron independence, proved that school spirit is stronger than ever.
The Nebraska 100
In an historic 2005 series, The World-Herald selected the state’s all-time top 100 athletes. In a new web exclusive, see the digitized collection for the first time.
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »