By Charlie Akers | BSU at the Games
A two-time NCAA All-American, Central Michigan’s Jarod Trice has dreamed of winning gold at the Olympic Games since an early age.
The dream started as a young child when he was just starting to wrestle.
Now he has matured into a 265-pound wrecking ball on the mats. He owns a 79-22 record in college, including a 14-1 mark against foes from the Mid-American Conference.
Throughout his high-school days in Highland Park, Mich., Trice totaled a career record of 163-15. His early success catapulted him to the Junior Olympics—and winning gold there—is where he started the dream of winning the Olympic gold.
“After I won Junior Olympic gold, I wanted to be an Olympian one day,” Trice said.
Trice took another step toward his Olympic dream in April with a fourth-place finish at the U.S. Olympic Trials. The finish fell just short of his goal of making the Olympic team in 2012. As a result, Trice will return to Central Michigan for his final season of eligibility this fall.
“I felt like I did some of my best wrestling there,” Trice said about the Olympic Trials in Iowa City. “I am going to keep training, focus on my senior season and be ready for the Olympic Trials in four years.”
The fourth-place finish at the trials only adds to his determination for 2016. Trice also looks to at least two sources of motivation.
“The people who have influenced me the most have been my mother and my grandmother,” said Trice, whose grandmother passed before his first tournament as a senior in high school. “She keeps me going, man.”
Trice also noted the passing of the man who got him started in sports at a young age and always kept him motivated—James Pollard, Jr.
“I lost James my freshman year in college and he was pretty much the one that kept me into sports,” Trice said. “He is the one who got me into wrestling. He is the main guy who kept me motivated as I was growing up.”
Knowing those two would be proud of his path, Trice trained all over the world to prepare himself for the Olympic Trials. He started to mainly focus and train specifically for the Olympic Games in April 2011.
“The transition from college to Olympic freestyle is not so big,” Trice said. “It’s pretty much the same thing, but it’s much more on my feet though.”
In 2011-12, Trice took a redshirt year from NCAA competition to train for the Games. He traveled—and trained with the sport’s best—all over the world, including in Russia, Cuba and Vancouver.
“The best have gone and trained in these places, so I wanted to also go there and get better with the best,” Trice said. “I’m just eating it all up. I have to bring my best.”
When he returned to the United States earlier this year to finish training, Trice worked with fellow Olympic qualifier Trevel Dlagnev.
Dlganev, America’s No. 1-ranked heavyweight, won the 120-kilogram weight class at the trials and advanced to the London Games in July.
“Training with those guys has been great,” Trice said. “The 120-kilogram class is probably the most respected weight class because of all the guys. It’s a pretty stacked weight class.”
And one in which Trice is determined to be included for the 2016 Olympic Games.
“I took this whole year off of school for this,” Trice said. “The experience that I’ve had this year has been great. I’m going to keep competing. I’m going to go for the next three world championships. I’m also going to go for the Olympic Championships in the next four years.”
Charlie Akers is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Charlie and the BSU team at @the8thKing, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.