Cassie Kibens | LUTV
March 24, 2016; 4 p.m.
Four Lindenwood University Women’s Wrestling team athletes are qualified for the Olympic trials in Iowa City, Iowa coming up in April.
In order to prepare the team spends up to ten hours a week practicing. Coach Toccara Montgomery hopes all that practice could mean one of her athletes gets the opportunity to compete in the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Olympics. Montgomery was part of the first women’s wrestling team for the United States at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
“It’s really wonderful to think about,” Montgomery said. “What if I can get these girls, even if it was just one girl. If I could get these girls on that team, to experience what it is.”
The Olympic trial event is separated into six different weight classes, and each winner from each weight class will get to move on to the Olympics. Graduate student Brittany David is one of the four who qualified. She did not quite make it her first time around for the 2012 Olympic trials, but is excited for this opportunity.
“This has always been one of my big goals,” David said. “My bucket list is to go to the Olympic trials. To be able to make my goal this time around, I was pretty excited.”
Montgomery says the girls are working smarter, not harder when preparing for the upcoming trials.
“All the girls are upperclassmen, so I’ve worked with them for at least three to four years,” Montgomery said. “So I’m basically just improving on the skills that we first went over those years, just trying to fine tune it and make it the best we can take it into this tournament.”
Co-captain Victoria Francis also has a chance at the summer Olympics. She has been wrestling for 11 seasons and is ready to see what her training can do for her at the trials.
“I’ve done the training. I’ve done the work. I’ve put in the investment,” Francis said. “Now it’s time to make my withdrawal. All the girls I’m going against have their chance to beat me, but I have my chance to beat them. So I have to go into match, every match, ready to go.”