Wrestler Jarod Trice redshirts for Olympics; Sentes may soon follow

The Central Michigan wrestling team has a rather large void to fill this season following senior heavyweight Jarod Trice’s decision to take an Olympic redshirt.

“This has been my dream since I started wrestling, to win a gold medal,” Trice said. “I’ve been chasing this, looking for my opportunity and I’m going to take advantage of it now.”

His decision wasn’t as easy as just choosing to redshirt, however Trice needed top eight finishes in the World Team Trials and U.S. Senior Nationals, in which he finished fifth and fourth respectively.

“Those are pretty high qualification standards and he accomplished them,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “He has an opportunity to qualify for the Olympic national team and you don’t get that opportunity often.”

In three years of competition, Trice qualified for the NCAA Tournament three times and earned All-American status twice.

He won the Mid-American Conference Tournament in 2011 and has posted a career record of 79-22, including a 14-1 conference record.

Although the team lost its biggest contributor for the season, Borrelli sees Trice’s decision as a good way for the younger heavyweights to show their abilities.

Sophomore Mike Murray and freshman Devin Pommerenke are the two remaining heavyweights the team will look to for a starter, though they will have some competition in transfer heavyweight senior Peter Sturgeon.

Sturgeon wrestled for the University of North Carolina-Greensboro for three seasons, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 2011.

“I think we’re going to have some good competition between all three of those individuals,” Borrelli said. “I think Jarod is going to be around here training for six months before going to the Olympic training center, so he’ll help them develop.”

With Trice and Sturgeon in the wrestling room, Murray and Pommerenke have the opportunity to learn from two NCAA qualifiers and all four will benefit from each other.

“I’m going to help workout with (Sturgeon),” Trice said. “I can see him stepping in and doing the same thing I did last year and I think he can handle it. It should be a good season.”

The team looks to improve its dual-meet record from 2011 (8-8), while hoping for its 11th straight MAC Championship title, though another hole in the roster may need filling. Senior Scotti Sentes may head down the same road as Trice this season.

“Scotti is eligible and we’re leaning toward redshirting him right now since he hasn’t redshirted yet,” Borrelli said.

By redshirting Sentes, another hole would open up at 133-pounds, leaving more room for the young guys to step up.

Losing two of three All-Americans is a tough transition to make in the offseason, but the 2011 season proved it could be done, winning the MAC Championship despite seven new starters.