Andrew Howe Advances to the Trials Championship
By STEVE KRAH
It took a three-time world champion and defending Olympic champion from allowing Indianaâ€™s Andrew Howe from getting a chance to represent the USA at the 2016 Rio Games.
For the second straight U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Jordan Burroughs bested Howe in the finals at 74 kg (163 pounds).
Burroughs, a New Jersey native who now lives in Nebraska and represents Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, beat Howe in 2012 and went on to win it all at the London Olympics. He has only lost twice in the past five years and never to Howe.
On Sunday, April 10, Burroughs bested the former Hanover Central High School, University of Wisconsin and Oklahoma University standout 9-3 and 10-0 in the best-of-3 finals before 11,162 at the University of Iowaâ€™s famed Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
In the first bout, Burroughs built a 7-0 lead before Howe scored a first-period reversal. The scoring in the second period was a takedown by Burroughs followed by a one-point push-out for Howe. Both periods were three minutes.
The second bout saw Burroughs win in just under 90 seconds. He got an early takedown and then executed four consecutive two-point â€œleg laceâ€ rolls to win by superiority and earn the Olympic berth.
â€œI dominated,â€ Burroughs said after celebrating with his family. â€œIâ€™m excited.
â€œThe approach is always to be one of the best ever. Itâ€™s hard to be a husband and father and be the best wrestler in the world. But I want to be a role model to all fathers out there.â€
On his way to the finals, the 26-year-old Howe drew a first-round bye then beat Mark Hall 10-0, Alex Dieringer 5-2 and Nick Marable 2-1 in the challenge tournament. Burroughs earned the right to by-pass the challenge and went right to the finals.
Before taking on Burroughs in a â€œdo-or-dieâ€ showdown (only the champion advances to the 2016 Rio Olympics), Howe said he needed to â€œjust relaxâ€ and â€œgo take it.â€
He just wasnâ€™t able to get the job completed and still remains winless against Burroughs during his mat career.
A five-year member of Team USA, Howe came in ranked No. 4 at 74 kg.
Howeâ€™s 2016 resume includes a U.S. Open championship and a fifth-place finish at the Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia.
An assistant coach at Oklahoma and a member of the Sooner Wrestling Club, Howe joined the staff after his senior season for the Sooners. He graduated from OU with a bachelorâ€™s degree in multidisciplinary studies and is currently working toward a masterâ€™s degree in human relations.
â€œItâ€™s a great situation I have. I really appreciate (head coach) Mark Cody and (associate head coach) Michael Lightner freeing me up at times during the year and letting me get ready for this event.
â€œI wrestle with the college guys almost daily and it helps.â€
The other wrestler from the Region at Iowa City was Angel Escobedo, who came in No. 3 in the Team USA rankings and a three-year member of Team USA.
The four-time state champion while at Griffith High School and three-time Big Ten Conference champion while at Indiana University, lost 12-9 to Nahshon Garrett in his only match Sunday.
Escobedo, 29, dropped out of the challenge tournament at 57 kg (125.5 pounds) because of injury. He is now an assistant coach at Iowa State University in Ames.
The member of the New York Athletic Club placed seventh at the 2016 U.S. Open.