Road to Rio ends for trio of local wrestlers at last weekend's Olympic Trials

The Road to Rio ended for three wrestlers from Platte County who competed in the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials this past weekend.

Platte County graduate Jake Fisher and Park Hill alums Alan Waters and Brian Graham all came up short of a top-three spot that would’ve put them on the Olympic team. All three won at least one match at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa in the qualification tournaments for this summer’s Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ranked No. 6 in the United States at 75 kg for Greco-Roman, Fisher advanced to the second round Sunday, April 10 by technical superiority with a 10-1 decision in the opening round. In the quarterfinals, he met up with Mason Manville and led 3-0 in the first period.

Manville scored a takedown late in the 3-mintue period to draw within one, and Fisher opted to challenge, which failed resulting in a third point for Manville. Neither wrestler scored in the third period, and Manville advanced with a 3-3 decision, winning on criteria.

Afterward, Fisher was red carded for a concussion apparently suffered in his first match, and he forfeited his second match. 

A four-time state medalist, three-time finalist and two-time Class 1A-2A state champion who helped Platte County to three team state championships from 1998-2002, Fisher competed in the trials for the third time and had previously indicated this would be his final go at making an Olympic team. 

Waters and Graham competed at the Olympic Trials for the first time.

Like Fisher, Waters competed on the second day of the tournament. The only four-time state champion in Park Hill history reached the quarterfinals of the 57 kg freestyle bracket with a 10-3 decision before meeting up with eventual weight class winner Daniel Dennis.

Waters led 2-0 in the early going against Dennis but lost 9-2, sending the two-time University of Missouri All-American to the consolation bracket. Waters won three straight matches to make the third-place match but missed a spot as an alternate on the Olympic team. Second-seeded Tyler Graff, who also lost to Dennis, won 10-0 to finish third.

A four-time state medalist and two-time state champion at Park Hill, Graham competed Saturday, April 9 in the 66 kg Greco-Roman bracket. He entered ranked No. 3 in that weight class and discipline but lost his opening match 4-2 to Marco Lara.

Graham won two straight but missed a spot in the third place match and ended up 2-2 for his tournament.