MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM GAME OF THE WEEK (March 31–April 7)
WRESTLING: USA Greco–Roman Olympic Trials
FORT WORTH, Tex. — Fennimore native Alston Nutter’s year of waiting finally ended Friday at the USA Wrestling Olympic Trials.
After not competing since the Junior World Championships in August, 2019 — where he earned a bronze medal at 63 kg — due to COVID-19 and injuries, Nutter made his return to competition Friday in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Olympic Trials (originally scheduled for April, 2020), as well as the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics were postponed last year due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Nutter returned home last spring, and with his official Olympic training put on hold, continued training on his own in his parents’ basement in Fennimore.
The 21-year-old Nutter entered Friday’s opening round as the ninth seed in the 12-man 67 KG (147 pounds) Greco–Roman bracket at the Olympic Trials.
His first match of the day pitted him against Peyton Omania, who is also a World bronze medalist at 67 kg and most recently a NCAA national tournament qualifier as a freshman at Michigan State.
Nutter was able to score on some big moves early and went on to win 12–9 to advance to the quarterfinals, where he would square off with four-time USA World Team member and 2012 Olympian Ellis Coleman.
Nutter was able to put himself in competitive positions against the former Olympian, but the experience of the 29-year-old Coleman would allow him to overcome his own youthfulness in a 6–0 loss.
Coleman went on to win the 67 KG challenge bracket with a 7–3 victory over Nutter’s Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club and Northern Michigan teammate, but Coleman’s bid to earn a spot on the 2021 US Olympic team ended Saturday when he dropped a pair of matches to Alejandro Sacncho, 2–0 and 3–1, in the best-of-3 Finals.
Nutter’s Olympic Trials tournament ended with an 8–0 consolation bracket loss to Nolan Baker of the New York Athletic Club. Nutter tied for ninth place.
Though the goal is always to finish at the top and his finish will likely sting for the 21-year-old Nutter, there is nothing like the excitement of performing on the country’s biggest stage.
“This was a learning experience, a big one,” said Nutter. “I’m going to work. I’m not going to stop working until I accomplish my goals and I have the Olympic gold around my neck.
“For right now I just want to thank my community, my family, my girlfriend, my coaches Northern Michigan’s Andy Bisek and coach Jamie, Sunkist Kids, Lucas Steldt at Combat Wrestling Club and everyone that has supported me up to this point. I couldn’t do it without them all.”
Competing for a chance to become an Olympian has been Nutter’s goal since he left Fennimore following his sophomore year of high school to join the Northern Michigan–Olympic Training Site program as a 16-year old.
Nutter is the son of Jamie and Stacey Nutter of Fennimore.