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Jesse Porter Earns No. 1 Spot at Olympic Trials

NMU wrestling
NMU wrestling(Larry Slater | Larry Slater)
Published: Apr. 4, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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FORT WORTH, Texas (WLUC) - Jesse Porter, Northern Michigan University graduate and current graduate student, earned the title United States Olympic Trials Champion for the 77 kg weight class this weekend in Fort Worth, Texas. The victory also gives him the No. 1 rank on USA Wrestling’s National Team.

On his way to the championship series, Porter earned a 6-0 win over NMU graduate Corey Hope (NYAC) and a 10-0 victory over RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC). Porter, seeded at No. 10, then met National Team member Pat Smith (Minnesota Storm), defeating the No. 3 seed 5-3.

In the first-place series, Porter faced Peyton Walsh (Marines) in a best-of-three final. In the first match, Porter topped Walsh 8-1 and earned a 7-7 win on criteria in the second match to earn the title Olympic Trials Champion.

USA Wrestling still needs to qualify the 77 kg weight class for the Olympic Games and will participate in the World Olympic Games Qualifier May 6-9 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Seeded No. 11 out of 12 was current NMU student athlete Benjamin Peak (Sunkist WC), who earned the  third and final spot on USA Wrestling’s National Team with a second-place finish at 67 kg.

Peak earned three convincing victories 9-0, 8-0, 9-0 to earn a spot in the challenge tournament final before falling to former NMU athlete and 2012 Olympian Ellis Coleman (Army) 3-7. Peak then faced Xavier Johnson (Marines), the third-place finisher, in a true second-place bout since the two athletes had not met previously in the Trials. Peak dominated the bout with a 9-1 win. With that victory, Peak earned the No. 3 spot on USA Wrestling’s National Team.

Other current NMU athletes competing were Alston Nutter at 67 kg and Austin Morrow at 77 kg. Nutter (Sunkist WC) started with a 12-9 victory over Peyton Omania (NYAC) before falling to Ellis Coleman 0-6. In the consolation bracket, Nutter fell to Nolan Baker (NYAC) 0-8. Morrow started the weekend with a 3-2 win over Brandon Mueller (505 WC) before falling to NMU graduate Jake Fisher (Curby WC) 5-6. In the consolation round, Morrow defeated Corey Hope 14-3 before being defeated by Pat Smith by fall.

NMU was well represented at this weekend’s wrestling Trials with 25 current or former athletes qualifying to compete, the highest number of any other university. Qualifiers included four current, seven graduates and eleven former Greco-Roman athletes. There were also three former women’s freestyle athletes competing.

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