Olympic wrestling: Former Sooner Sam Hazewinkel ready to give it another go

SAM HAZEWINKEL -- After coming oh-so-close to qualifying for the 2008 Olympic team, former OU wrestler Sam Hazewinkel is back at the qualifying trials. Hazewinkel and the other Olympic hopefuls will try to make the team this weekend in Iowa City, Iowa.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: April 20, 2012 at 11:43 am •  Published: April 20, 2012
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So, he moved to the Olympic Training Center.

His wife, Rachel, was in physical therapy school and had to stay in Norman.

“It didn't bug me at the time,” said Hazewinkel, who'd been married less than a year when he left for Colorado Springs. “I didn't see it as hard.”

But it was.

“Those things, they wear on you even if you don't notice it at the time.”

Hazewinkel made it all the way to the finals at the Olympic trials, surviving a gauntlet of matches and earning a spot in the best-of-three series, but then, he dropped two matches by decision in the finals.

It was the ultimate oh-so-close moment.

“It hurt to get all the way to the finals, to be that close and come up short,” he said, “but I learned a lot from it.”

Primary among those lessons — he wasn't about to spend another year in Colorado Springs away from his wife.

He returned to Norman the day after the trials, and eventually, he switched back to freestyle wrestling. He feels like the decision to be around family and friends has given him a better frame of mind.

Who knows what edge that might give him?

“I was confident last Olympics,” Hazewinkel said. “I just feel like I've got my head on a lot better, and I'm ready for whatever they throw at me.”


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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2012 U.S. OLYMPIC WRESTING TRIALS

When: Saturday and Sunday

Where: Iowa City, Iowa

LOCALS AT THE TRIALS

The state of Oklahoma will be well-represented at the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials this weekend in Iowa City, Iowa. Here's a look at the 20 wrestlers with ties to the state:

Name, Division, Weight Class: State Tie

Zack Bailey, freestyle, 66 kg: Wrestled at Oklahoma 2006-11

Obe Blanc, freestyle, 55 kg: Wrestled at Oklahoma State 2008-09 and now lives in Stillwater

Tyler Caldwell, freestyle, 74 kg: Wrestled at OU 2009-11

Kristie Davis, women, 72 kg: Wrestles at Oklahoma City University and lives in Yukon

Brittany Delgado, women, 72 kg: Wrestles at OCU

Jared Frayer, freestyle, 66 kg: Wrestled at OU 1997-2002 and now lives in Norman

Kristie Garr, women, 48 kg: Wrestles at OCU

Stephanie Geltmacher, women, 63 kg: Wrestles at OCU

Bryce Hasseman, freestyle, 84 kg: Lives in Stillwater

Sam Hazewinkel, Greco-Roman, 55 kg: Wrestled at OU 2002-07 and now lives in Norman

Ashley Hudson, women, 55 kg: Wrestled at OCU 2007-11

Michaela Hutchison, women, 55 kg: Wrestles at OCU

Andre Metzger, Greco-Roman, 74 kg: Wrestled at OU 1978-82 and now lives in Norman

Joey Miller, women, 48 kg: Wrestled at Woodward High 2004-08 and now wrestles at OCU

Steve Mocco, freestyle, 120 kg: Wrestled at OSU 2004-06

Audrey Morehouse, women, 63 kg: Wrestles at OCU

Jordan Oliver, freestyle, 60 kg: Wrestles at OSU

Jennifer Page, women, 63 kg: Wrestles at OCU

Chris Pendleton, freestyle, 96 kg: Wrestled at OSU 2000-04

Brittney Roberts, women, 72 kg: Wrestles at OCU

Coleman Scott, freestyle, 60 kg: Wrestled at OSU 2004-08 and now lives in Stillwater

Teyon Ware, freestyle, 66 kg: Wrestled at Edmond North High 1998-2002 and OU 2002-06

Emily Webster, women, 48 kg: Wrestles at OCU

Nicole Woody, women, 48 kg: Wrestled at OCU 2007-11

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