Former Northwestern University wrestler goes for gold

August 11, 2012

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Jake Herbert, 27, is a Northwestern graduate wrestling in the 2012 Olympic games.

Northwestern University’s most-decorated wrestler is competing in the Olympics.

In a video on his website, Jake Herbert declares—August 11th—as his day.

“It’s the final stage in my sport,” Herbert says in the video. “It’s the ultimate pinnacle of wrestling. It’s an Olympic gold. That’s what I’m going to get.”

The 2009 Northwestern grad is a two-time NCAA champion and a world silver medalist and has three Big Ten titles.

He took home the Hodge trophy, college wrestling’s highest honor.

Former Coach Andrew Pariano spoke with WBEZ from London Friday. He said Herbert is one of the most “physically gifted” wrestlers in the world and said he has “as good a chance as any” to bring home a medal.

Pariano also noted Herbert’s college record – 149 wins and just 4 losses.

Herbert is wrestling at 84 kilos, or 185 pounds, in London today. He's one of two Northwestern grads competing in this year’s games.

Matt Grevers, a 2007 grad, is on the men’s U.S. swimming team. So far, he’s won gold in the 100-meter backstroke and in 400-medley relay and silver in the 400-freestlye relay.

In the 2008 Beijing games, three Northwestern grads competed--Grevers, Larry Langowski and Mike Alexandrov. Langowski wrestled for Mexico and Alexandrov swam for Bulgaria in 2008.

A Northwestern spokeswoman said the school also had two wrestlers win medals in the 1920s and '30s. John "Jack" Riley won silver at the 1932 games and Bryan Hines took bronze in 1924.