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3 Wrestlers Who Need to Pull Their Olympic Redshirts

Choices… Choice, choices, choices.

Several premier NCAA wrestlers qualified for and ultimately chose to Olympic Redshirt the 2019-20 NCAA Season. The end goal of this choice is to ultimately be the one representing the USA for the amazing Olympic Games. To do that, though, they must first qualify for the Olympic Trials

To achieve this, a wrestler could do a number of things. You could be an ex-Senior World Team Member (from the past quad [‘17, ‘18, ‘19]). You could also be a 2019 Junior/U23 World Champion. If you weren’t already one of those, you could’ve attempted to be the highest USA placer at the recent Bill Farrell Memorial. Most recently, though, the biggest qualifer occured – Senior Nationals (Fort Worth, TX). The Top 5 from this tournament qualified for the trials. If you failed to achieve any of this…….

The only two domestic options left are to A) win an NCAA D1 Title, or B) place Top 2 at The Last Chance Qualifier (Millersville, PA) at the end of March. 

I believe that the following 3 wrestlers, contrary to their previous beliefs, need to actually yank their Olympic Redshirts, if they want to double their chances of qualifying for the Olympic Trials in April. 

3 wrestlers who need to pull their Olympic Redshirts:

1. Jaydin Eierman, 141 pounds (Iowa). 


Jaydin Eierman can finally win a title at 141 this year. He has long been in the running for one, but has never even made the finals thanks to men like Yianni Diakomihalis, Joey McKenna, Bryce Meredith, Dean Heil, and so on. 

I truly think Jaydin Eierman is the best wrestler in college who has yet to make an NCAA Final. Eierman is a guy who has a great chance to win the NCAA Tournament in 2020. On the other side of things, several of the people who stopped Eierman from being in the NCAA Finals in the first place (Meredith and Heil) will be at Last Chance, thus making it more difficult there than at NCAA’s. 

I think Eierman could reach two goals in one here. He needs to pull his Olympic Redshirt and win an NCAA Title, thus punching his way to the Olympic Trials. This might just be his best bet. Bonus: if Iowa wants to win a Team Title this year… pulling Eierman’s Olympic Redshirt would certainly benefit them.

Guys he would need to beat to win NCAA’s: 

  • Nick Lee
  • Luke Pletcher
  • Mitch McKee
  • Dom Demas
  • Chad Red

Guys he would need to beat at the Last Chance Qualifier: 

  • Anthony Ashnault
  • Bryce Meredith
  • Dean Heil
  • Ethan Lizak
  • Evan Henderson
  • Joey Lazor
  • Johnni DiJulius
  • Jayson Ness
  • Earl Hall
  • and so many more.  

2. Matt Kolodzik, 149 pounds (Princeton).

The fact is that 65 kilos is our deepest domestic weight class, without question. In a full 32-man bracket at Senior Nationals, Kolodzik merely went 1-2… his losses? Evan Henderson (by a point) and Frank Molinaro. He had Henderson right off the bat, and returning Olympian Frank Molinaro in the second round of consolations. It is going to be just as tough as this at The Last Chance Qualifier. Compare the guys he would need to beat there, to the 149-pound NCAA field this year. 

Matthew Kolodzik was always due for an NCAA Title. Kolodzik, like Eierman, is a 3x AA. Unlike Eierman, he has indeed been ranked at #1 at several points in his career, and was one of the best high school wrestlers of his generation. Many thought when Kolodzik was in HS that he had a NCAA Title coming his way. Now is a great time to go get it. 

Guys he would need to beat to win NCAA’s: 

  • Pat Lugo
  • Austin O’Connor
  • Brayton Lee
  • Sammy Sasso
  • Brock Mauller
  • Boo Lewallen

Guys he would need to beat at the Last Chance Qualifier: 

  • Eierman and Kolodzik are expected to both be competing at 65 kilos (about 143 pounds) for the Olympic Trials, so the list of foes will be the same as Eierman’s (see above). 
 3. Max Dean, 184 pounds (Cornell). 

Unlike Eierman and Kolodzik, Max Dean indeed has a proven monster in his way… 2x NCAA Champ, 3x AA Zahid Valencia. However, I’ve got three words that we should all keep in mind… Myles freaking Martin. 

Bear with me. We thought of MyMar as unbeatable last year. I (and most wrestling fans) literally penciled in Myles as one of the highest probabilities to actually win a 2019 NCAA Title… Max Dean came from left field to upset him – the biggest upset of the 2019 NCAA Tournament

If you ask most people, they will probably agree with the idea that Max Dean can certainly win an NCAA Title, just like his older brother, 2x NCAA Champ (4x AA) Gabe Dean. Max Dean has it in his blood, he just needs to get past Zahid. Contrary to 141 and 149, 184 is not nearly as deep – past Zahid, the next best guy (for now) is Trent Hidlay. So… does he take his chance with Mr. Zahid?

Guys he would need to beat to win NCAA’s: 

  • Zahid Valencia.
  • Trent Hidlay
  • Hunter Bolen
  • Taylor Lujan
  • Taylor Venz

Guys he would need to beat at the Last Chance Qualifier: 

  • Nate Jackson
  • Nick Heflin
  • Tim Dudley
  • Drew Foster (who beat Max Dean in the 2019 NCAA Finals)
  • Willie Miklus
  • Pete Renda
  • CJ Brucki
  • Kenny Courts
  • etc.
If there are any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this article, please email me at joshz41698@gmail.com ! We want your feedback, because we want to be the best wrestling coverage there is. Thank you.

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