Cael Sanderson Eyes Another Olympic Gold
My colleague (and our in-house wrestling expert) Lori Shontz ’91 told me this might be coming, and now it’s official: Cael Sanderson, the 31-year-old head coach who led the Penn State wrestling team to a national championship last season, is returning to the mat in the hopes of qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Sanderson isn’t just a very good coach who used to wrestle, of course; he’s widely considered the best ever American amateur wrestler, thanks largely to his 159-0 record in four years at Iowa State and the Olympic freestyle gold he won in 2004. Lori, my fellow senior editor, saw Sanderson on campus a few days ago and thought he looked trimmer (the SI.com story linked above states that he’d wrestle at a lower weight class then his most recent tournament appearance) and noticed signs of wrestling-room combat (swollen ears, a fresh scratch on his face) that implied he might be getting in shape for… something. Looks like that “something” is the U.S. World Team Trials, held this weekend in Oklahoma City.
Sanderson is apparently also scheduled to be inducted tonight into the Wrestling Hall of Fame. Whoever’s in charge of the hall of famers’ plaques might want to leave some room on Sanderson’s entry. Looks like he’s not quite done.
Ryan Jones, senior editor