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|Herbert could be tough draw after qualifying for U.S. Nationals in freestyle|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
LAS VEGAS - Jake Herbert doesn't enter many wrestling tournaments where he isn't seeded.
After all, the standout Northwestern sophomore has placed third and second in his first two NCAA tournaments.
But Herbert is not seeded in the top eight for the U.S. Nationals and will be drawn into the freestyle bracket at 84 kg/185 pounds for the competition on Saturday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
That could be bad news for one of the seeded wrestlers because the dangerous Herbert will be a tough draw for somebody Saturday. A very tough draw.
Herbert earned a spot in today's 16-man bracket at 185 by finishing in the top eight in the Qualification Tournament on Friday. He was one of 48 wrestlers overall to qualify Friday for Saturday's U.S. Nationals.
"It's going to be fun - there obviously are some really good wrestlers at this level," Herbert said. "Hopefully, I can move up to this class and do some damage. I would like to take a shot at knocking off one of those top guys."
One of the wrestlers Herbert could draw is No. 7 seed Ben Askren of Missouri, who rolled to a lopsided win over Herbert last month in the NCAA finals. Askren caught Herbert on his back in a pair of scrambles early in that bout.
"I watched the tape and Askren wrestled a real good match," Herbert said. "I would love another shot at him. I'm turning that loss into a positive where it will motivate me and drive me. I still have two years of college left and I have a lot of things I still want to accomplish."
The eight qualifiers in each weight class advance to Saturday's U.S. Nationals. They will join eight other wrestlers who automatically advanced to Saturday's finals by virtue of seeds and selections made prior to the tournament by a seeding committee.
There was no qualifier held at 120 kg/264.5 pounds, since there were less than 20 entries in the heavyweight division.
There is talk Herbert may bump up to 184 pounds for his junior year in college next season.
"I will see how big I get," Herbert said. "I would like to get bigger and stronger, and maybe move up a class. But if November rolls around and I'm weighing 190, I will go 174 again. If I'm up over 200, then I'll move up to 184."
FREESTYLE QUALIFIERS FOR U.S. NATIONALS
55 kg/121 lbs.
Adam Smith, Newport, Pa. (ITCWC)
Carlos Restrepo, Brentwood, N.Y. (New York AC)
Sal Gonzalez, Fresno, Calif. (Ohio Core)
Terrance Clendenin, Toms River, N.J. (Unattached)
Ryan Farwell, Toledo, Ore. (Rick Sanders Club)
Roger Stewart, Woodbridge, Va. (New York AC)
Doug Hoover, Wichita, Kan. (Unattached)
Zachary Fowl, Aberdeen, Md. (Sakai)
60 kg/132 lbs.
Angel Cejudo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
Martin Mitchell, Tonasket, Wash. (Junkyard Dogs)
Bryan Heller, University Park, Pa. (Penn State)
Robbie Preston, Blairstown, N.J. (Harvard Wrestling)
Ben Zwaschka, Gilbert, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
Drew Headlee, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Pittsburgh Wrestling)
Nick Gallick, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
John Pineda, Vashon Island, Wash. (Burnaby Mountain)
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Willy Holst, Prescott, Wis. (Minnesota Storm)
W.R. Groves, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USOTC)
Rob Hitschler, Glenside, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
Jerrod Sanders, Stillwater, Okla. (Unattached)
Aaron Holker, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
Josh Wagner, Columbia, Mo. (Tiger Style Wrestling)
Phillip Simpson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
Jeff Ratliff, Marion, Ohio (Ohio International WC)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Matt Pell, Columbia, Mo. (Tiger Style Wrestling)
Jeremiah Jarvis, Davis, Calif. (Advanced Training)
Trent Paulson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
Zack Shanaman, Philadelphia, Pa. (Sunkist Kids)
Travis Koppenhafer, Mesa, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
David Bolyard, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
Craig Henning, Chippewa Falls, Wis. (Badger)
Joey Hooker, Ithaca, N.Y. (Cornell)
84 kg/185 lbs.
Tony Gansen, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
Travis Pascoe, Fresno, Calif. (Sunkist Kids)
Bryce Hasseman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
Jake Herbert, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Northwestern)
Luke Calvert, Broken Arrow, Okla. (U.S. Army)
Tom Meester, Sioux Falls, S.D. (SMI)
Frank Cornely, Durham, N.C. (New York AC)
Joseph Williams, Orange, Calif. (Michigan WC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Wynn Michalak, Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Advantage Wrestling)
J.D. Bergman, Columbus, Ohio (Ohio International WC)
Patrick DeGain, Charlottesville, Va. (Cavalier WC)
Mike Tamillow, Chicago, Ill. (Northwestern)
Anton Talamantes, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
Mikhail Abdul-latif, Vashon Island, Wash. (Burnaby Mountain)
Max Askren, Columbia, Mo. (Sunkist Kids)
Josh Pearce, Greenville, Pa. (Unattached)