COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ó Konrad Dudziak continued his quest to make the U.S. Olympic team this past weekend when he won the championship in freestyle at 211.5 pounds at the University World Team Trials. Dudziak is currently wrestling with the New York Athletic Club while taking a redshirt year from Duke to compete for an Olympic spot.
Dudziak swept Brent Jones of Cavalier Wrestling Club in the finals, 4-4 and 3-0, and then 3-0 and 3-0, to take the title. Jones is the University National Champion and one of the top contenders for the Olympic spot at 211.5 pounds. Dudziak, a native of Bayonne, N.J., is now considered a favorite for the Olympic spot at 211.5 pounds, which is an incredibly strong weight class in the U.S.
In 2006 at Duke, Dudziak placed third in the ACC Tournament as a sophomore. He went 9-0 in tournaments with three falls in 2006-07 before making the decision to take a year off to compete at the Olympic level. Dudziak will return to Duke this fall as a redshirt junior and as a top contender for winning NCAA’s at heavyweight.
Dudziak will next compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials from June 13-15 in Las Vegas, Nev. He is scheduled to wrestle Jones again in the first round and if victorious would most likely face Willie Parks, who he also just defeated at the University World Team Trials.
If successful again against that pair Dudziak will be in the finals of the Olympic Trials mini-tournament. The winner of that tournament faces the No. 1 ranked American wrestler in a best-of-three series to represent the U.S. in the Olympics.
“Konrad, very realistically, can win the mini-tournament and challenge to represent the U.S. in Beijing at the 2008 Summer Olympics,” said Duke coach Clar Anderson. “He has come so far so fast that winning the right to represent the U.S. in the Olympics is no longer a boyhood dream, but now an expectation.”