NU alum Jake Herbert qualified for the 2012 Olympics this weekend, winning the 185-pound freestyle title at the US Olympic trials.
Herbert, who won two NCAA titles while at NU before graduating in 2009, cruised through the first two rounds of the trials before besting Travis Paulson in the finals to earn his Olympic berth. Not to diminish his accomplishment in the least bit, but Herbert caught a bit of a break heading into the tournament, as favorite Cael Sanderson, a legend in wrestling circles, decided to bow out of the trials. Still, Herbert, who won the silver at the 2010 world championships, will be a top contender at the London Games, which begin July 27.
He becomes the first NU grad to win the trials and qualify for the Olympics, though NU alum Jack Griffin was an alternate for the US team in 1992.
Fellow NU alum and current volunteer assistant coach Brandon Precin also competed in the trials at 121 pounds but lost both of his matches and did not qualify.