April 17, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Michigan State Spartan junior Steve Andrus has received one of two wildcard selections to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, USA Wrestling announced. Andrus will wrestle at 120 kg/264.5 pounds in the Greco-Roman division at the Olympic Trials, scheduled for April 21-22 in Iowa City, Iowa.
"It is really a significant accomplishment for Steve," head coach Tom Minkel said. "Competing in the Olympics is the ultimate goal and ultimate prize. For Steve to have an opportunity at this young of age is significant for him. It is the greatest wrestling event on the planet and it only comes around every four years."
Andrus qualified for his first career trip to the NCAA Championships this past season and finished with a 24-16 record for MSU. He is widely considered one of the strongest Greco-Roman wrestlers in the country.
"He is more comfortable wrestling Greco than any other style," Minkel said. "His athletic make-up is suited more towards Greco and I think he will be very successful. This experience is invaluable to him; to get a chance to actually compete in the trials, get a sense for what it is really like, and what the level of competition is. I certainly think that down the road he will be a legitimate Olympic hopeful."
Last summer Andrus qualified for the 2011 Pan American Championships in Rionegro, Colombia, but had to withdraw from the tournament due to injury. In the summer of 2010 Andrus won both the FILA Junior Greco-Roman National Championships and the FILA Greco-Roman World Team Trials in Budapest, Hungary.
Also qualifying for the Olympic Trials is former Spartan All-American Nick Simmons. He will compete in the freestyle division at 55 kg/121 pounds and was the champion at the 2011 World Team Trials. Simmons competed for the Spartans from 2002-2006 and is one of Michigan State's most successful wrestlers in program history. Simmons, who earned All-America honors four times, placed a career-high third at the 2007 NCAA Championships and won three Big Ten titles (two at 125 pounds, one at 133 pounds).