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Jake Herbert won a silver medal at the 2009 Worlds, one year after he took an Olympic redshirt. Tony Rotundo photo. Continued from page 12

Schultz tournament during my Olympic redshirt year.” A full-time freestyle focus enables U.S. wrestlers to gain ground on foreign competitors who compete solely in freestyle from the time they first step on the mat.

“Gaining a foreign feel and an international feel, you can’t get that by training and competing just in the U.S.,” Herbert said. “I spent 12 days in Belarus in 2009, and trained and competed over there. It’s a different style of training and wrestling. You wrestle on your feet 90 percent of the time, and work on par terre the other 10 percent. You can’t expose your back and roll around like you can in college. That type of training was great preparation for when I jumped into freestyle full-time after col- lege.”

Herbert won his first NCAA title in 2007. He said he immedi- ately noticed the gains he made when he returned to Northwestern for his senior season in the fall of 2008. “It was easy for me when I went back to college,” he said. “I went from wrestling the best guys in the world to wrestling col- lege guys. I had a better mindset and more of a killer instinct. My goal my senior year was to not give up a takedown, and I accomplished that.”

Among the other top collegiate stars who took Olympic red- shirts this past season were Oklahoma’s Andrew Howe,

“The Olympic redshirt was very beneficial – it was huge for me. That’s one of the main reasons I got to the finals of the World Championships in 2009.”

- Jake Herbert

Missouri’s Dom Bradley, Oklahoma State’s Tyler Caldwell, Wisconsin’s Tyler Graff, Boise State’s Jason Chamberlain and Central Michigan’s Jarod Trice.

Howe made noticeable gains during his Olympic redshirt year. He lost to eventual Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs in the finals of the 2012 Olympic Team Trials. Howe pushed Burroughs, a 2011 World champion, in the first match of the best-of-3 finals at the Olympic Trials. Burroughs won the first match 4-2, 1-2, 1-0 before Howe was unable to go in the second match after being injured late in the first bout. “The Olympic redshirt was a great opportunity for me,” Howe Continued on page 14

13 USA Wrestler

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