Carr and Gadson set for U.S. Olympic Trials

David Carr celebrates after winning his second consecutive Big 12 individual title at 157 pounds March 7 in the 2021 Big 12 Wrestling Championships. 

Sam Stuve

With the Summer Olympics set to begin in August after being postponed due to COVID-19, the United States is having the Olympic Trials for wrestling Friday and Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin the process of selecting the United States Olympic team.

One current Cyclone, redshirt sophomore David Carr, and former Cyclone Kyven Gadson are in the field of competition trying to take one of the spots in freestyle wrestling the United States has at the 2021 Summer Olympics.

Carr, a two-time Big 12 Champion and 2021 NCAA Champion, qualified for the Olympic Trials by winning a Junior World Championship in 2019 and also by winning the NCAA Championship.

Carr is the five seed at 74 kilograms (163.1 pounds) freestyle out of the seven wrestlers, while Gadson is the four seed at 97 kilograms (213.8 pounds) out of eight in the Challenge Tournament on Friday.  

Gadson qualified for the Trials by finishing in fourth place in the 2019 Senior National Championships.

Ahead of Carr in the Challenge Tournament are four wrestlers:

– Logan Massa (2019 Senior National Champion, placed top five in the NCAA Championships twice at Michigan), 

– Thomas Gantt (placed third in 2019 Senior National Championships, 2014 NCAA qualifier from North Carolina State)

– Chance Marsteller (qualified for the team trials at the 2021 Olympic Team Trials Last Chance Qualifier, two-time NCAA All-American at Lock Haven University) and

– Jason Nolf (three-time NCAA Champion at Penn State, won 2020 Pan American Championship).

Jordan Burroughs, a 2012 Olympic champion, two-time NCAA Champion and a four-time World Champion, has a bye into the best-of-three finals at 74 kilograms freestlye. 

Kyle Dake, a four-time NCAA Champion and two-time World Champion, has a bye into the Challenge Tournament semifinals.

At 97 kilograms, there are also two wrestlers who have byes: J’den Cox, a three-time NCAA Champion, 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist and two-time World Champion, has a bye until the Challenge Tournament semifinals. Kyle Snyder, who won the 2016 Gold Medal at 97 kilograms and is a two-time World Champion as well as a three-time NCAA Champion, has a bye until the best-of-three finals.

Gadson has three wrestlers above him:

– Kollin Moore (three-time NCAA All-American and 2019 NCAA finalist at Ohio State, 2019 Senior Nationals runner-up)

– Hayden Zillmer (2019 Senior National Champion, NCAA All-American (2015) from North Dakota State) and

– Mike Macchiavello (2019 Bill Farrell Invitational Silver Medalist, 2017 NCAA Qualifier from NC State).

The full list of competitors in both those brackets as well as all brackets can be found here.

Carr and Gadson are the Cyclones’ last two NCAA champions, with Carr winning this year’s title at 157 and Gadson winning the 197 pounds title in 2015 (over Snyder). 

The Challenge Tournament begins at 10 a.m. Friday and the finals of the Challenge Tournament begin at 6:30 p.m. 

The consolation rounds for the Challenge Tournament will be wrestled at 1 p.m. Saturday with the Championship Series beginning at 6:30 p.m.

NBC Sports Network and Peacock are livestreaming the event.