For elite wrestlers at any level, Stillwater, Okla., is in their travel plans.
With one of the top programs in the country, Oklahoma State University, and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in town, Medina resident Matt Meadows will be in heaven this weekend.
The George Mason wrestler will be participating in the U.S. World Team Trials with a berth in the Junior World Championships in August on the line.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “Right when I got to Oklahoma, I saw all these Olympians and top kids from all over — something you don’t see every day.
“It’s a great opportunity, and I’m going to make the most of it. What a chance it is to wrestling at Oklahoma State with all the tradition and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame there.”
The 5-foot-10, 211-pounder was a wild-card selection by the national developmental coach after attempting to earn a spot in freestyle after qualifying in Greco-Roman.
Meadows wanted to work on his skills in freestyle to get ready for his sophomore season at George Mason. In 2012-13, he wrestled in every dual match for the Patriots en route to recording a 16-19 record, which included a 7-10 dual mark with a pair of pins.
Representing the Patriot Elite Wrestling Club last month at the University of Akron, Meadows was fifth at the ASICS University Nationals in Greco Roman to earn University National All-American status.
“I got the call 3-4 weeks ago, and I was just happy,” he said. “I wanted to have the opportunity to wrestling freestyle and I’m better at it. It’s closer to what we wrestling during the season. It’s a lot faster-paced and higher scoring.”
Meadows will have weigh-ins Saturday before wrestling his first bout of the Freestyle Junior Division at 96 kilograms Sunday. At stake for Meadows is an opportunity to represent the country at the Junior World Championships later this summer in Solfia, Bulgaria.
Meadows is no stranger to wrestling on the big stage. He won a 2011 state title at 215 pounds for Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy — he clinched the crown with a 17-4 major decision of Defiance Tinora’s Marc Moser — and was runner-up at the Flonationals. He was ranked seventh in the nation as a senior by intermatwrestle.com.
With that resume, combined with the 19-year-old has spent most of time after the collegiate season ended training at George Mason and at the Ohio Regional Training Center in Columbus, he’s is ready for the next challenge.
“My goal is to make the world team in August and I think I can do it,” Meadows said. “The competition is really tough, a lot of freshman and sophomores that I’ve seen before.
“I’m just going to go out and perform how I’ve trained.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.