“Wrestling has become so popular, being the third-highest number of viewers on the Big Ten Network, behind football and men’s basketball, that the number of viewers is just off the charts right now,” said Nebraska wrestling coach Mark Manning. “The popularity of (Team USA) brought five wrestlers to the Olympics and all five won a medal. The popularity of women’s wrestling is really growing at a breakneck pace. … We hosted the Final X here, which was the World Team Trials in the past. It was a success and people love Lincoln, Nebraska.
Team USA’s women’s freestyle had four Tokyo medalists, with sport trailblazers Tamyra Mensah Stock (gold, 68kg), Sarah Hildebrandt (bronze, 50kg) and Adeline Gray (silver, 76kg) ) taking all automatic auctions. Helen Maroulis also won an automatic auction with a bronze finish at 57 kilograms.
Mensah Stock, Hildebrandt and Gray were former participants in Lincoln, when the 2017 Team USA Freestyle World Trials were held at the Devaney Sports Center.
“It will be a high profile event,” Manning said. “I would say get a ticket after the football game (Nebraska vs. Buffalo) and come over.”
With an event of this magnitude, it would be a perfect recruiting tool for Manning and the Huskers, but he just wants to soak up the atmosphere of Pinnacle Bank Arena this weekend.
“We have dates for the guys coming up in October, but I think a lot of people are realizing that over the last 10 years, James and Jordan have been on the world teams and the Olympic teams,” Manning said. . “James has been a five-time World Team member and two-time World Team Medalist. What is unheard of in our sport; it is difficult to form a team, let alone five. And Jordan has been on nine consecutive Olympic or world teams. It’s a great opportunity to see Jordan and James, and TJ Dudley and Tyler Berger and Christian Lance wrestle.