Monday, April 22, 2024

Paris bound: Fowlerville wrestler Adam Coon qualifies for Olympics

Bill Khan

Livingston Daily

There were only 12 male wrestlers in the nation who won their divisions Saturday in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, but two are from Fowlerville High School.

Adam Coon won the 130-kilogram Greco-Roman championship and Dalton Roberts won the 60-kilogram Greco-Roman title in State College, Pa.

Coon qualified for the Summer Olympics July 26-Aug. 11 in Paris, while Roberts will have to qualify his weight class for the Olympics by reaching the championship round in the World Olympic Qualifier May 9-12 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Coon won the Trials three years ago, but his weight class wasn’t qualified to represent the United States in Tokyo. He had to reach the championship round of the Olympic Qualifier, but lost in the quarterfinals.

He gave up wrestling to pursue an NFL career, signing with the Tennessee Titans. He was injured before training camp in 2021 and returned to wrestling in early 2023 to pursue his Olympic dream after two close calls.

“When I’m sitting behind a desk using my aerospace engineering degree, which would I prefer to have in my back pocket when I’m there?” Coon told the Livingston Daily in January 2023. “An Olympic gold medal or an NFL career?

“So, that’s where my head and heart ended up going. I wanted to pursue Olympic gold.”

Coon, a 2013 Fowlerville graduate who was a four-time state champion, was an Olympic alternate in 2016 while wrestling for the University of Michigan before winning the Trials in 2021.

In the championship round against Schultz, whom he had wrestled nine previous times, Coon lost 3-1 in the first match.

The second match was tied 1-1, with Coon winning on criteria.

In the deciding match, Coon took a 4-0 lead through the first of two periods. After Coon was called for passivity, giving Schultz a point, Coon got a takedown to go up 6-1 with a minute left in the match.

Roberts, a two-time world championships qualifier, won both of his finals matches against two-time Olympian Ildar Hafizov to win the Trials.

Roberts earned one point each for passivity and a step-out to win the first match 2-0.

Trailing 2-1 after one period in the second match, Roberts got a takedown to win 3-2 and capture the championship.

Roberts beat Hafizov to make the world championship team in 2021.

Roberts told the Livingston Daily following the 2021 Olympics that watching long-time foe Hafizov compete in Tokyo motivated him heading into the 2024 Olympic year.

“Watching him compete in Tokyo, I was back here in Colorado watching on my couch,” Roberts said at the time. “It kind of lit a little fire in my belly. I wanted to be there. He earned the right to. I put it in my head that given the next opportunity, I’m earning the next one.”

Contact Bill Khan at Follow him on X @BillKhan



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