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Northwestern Alum Jake Herbert Goes For Gold Saturday In 84Kg Freestyle Wrestling


(Final update: Herbert lost in the repechage to a Turkish guy, so no medal.)

(Update, Quarterfinals, 9:22 a.m.: Herbert loses to Sharifov in a match where he was never in control. There was a scoring controversy in the second period that led to a challenge, that led to more points being awarded to Sharifov, that led to Herbert's coach yelling at a lot of people, that somehow led to the match being over? Anyway, should Sharifov reach the finals, Herbert will compete in a repechage for a chance to win bronze.)

(Update, Round of 16, 8:22 a.m.: Herbert went down early to Arencibia, losing first round 4-1, but dominated second round 8-0. Gave up quick score in decisive third round, but got on board with less than 20 seconds to go, tied round 1-1, advanced on overall points, I think. Will face Azerbaijan's Bond villain Sharif Sharifov in quarterfinals at 8:57 central.)

Northwestern's alumni aren't done in London, as Jake Herbert will look to add to the medal tally built up by Matt Grevers by earning gold on the mat as his freestyle wrestling competition will take place on Saturday, beginning early in the morning. (He didn't just go there to yell Howard Stern catchphrases.)

Herbert will be taking part in freestyle wrestling, which I get the sense is more or less the same type of wrestling where he won two NCAA Championships and a Hodge Trophy, the equivalent of the Heisman for rasslin. He has a pretty good shot at medaling - Bloody Elbow predicted him to win! - he won silver at the 2009 at the World Championships, although he didn't place in 2010 and didn't participate in 2011 when Cael Sanderson represented the United States before re-retiring in the run-up to these Olympics.

Herbert's main competition is the Azeri Sharif Sharifov, whose name carries all the evil-sounding traits of both Russian Bond villains and post-Bond spy film Middle Eastern villains. I'm not sure if this was literally the luck of the draw or not, but the 2009 World Champion, Zaurbek Sokhiev of Uzbekistan - aka the person Bloody Elbow said had a good shot at medaling - is faced off in the Round of 32 against Ukraine's Ibragim Aldatov - aka the person NBC said had a good shot at medaling, whereas most wrestlers, including Herbert, have byes into the Round of 16. He also has to worry about a Nigerian wrestler who is actually named Andy Dick.

Herbert kicks off the Olympics at 8:05 central in the Round of 16 against Cuba's Humberto Arencibia. This is an obvious conflict of interest for me, as a proud half-Cuban. Cuba already has won wrestling gold in London, because all people of Cuban stock are born champions. (Ryan Lochte!)

I'll be updating this thread tomorrow as the day goes on and we can use it as a live thread. Herbert's matches most likely won't be shown live, so click here to stream them on NBC's Olympic website. Comment along throughout the day and stuff, if you're into that sort of thing