Posted: April 9, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh freshman Zach Rey won the 120 kg (264.5 lb.) weight class at the Northeast Senior Freestyle championships last weekend in Brockport, N.Y. Wrestling for the Lehigh Valley Athletic Club, Rey’s victory qualified him for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which will take place June 12-15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
“We’re elated with Zach’s performance last weekend,” said Lehigh head coach Greg Strobel. “Coming off a torn ACL from high school, he did the rehab necessary to get back on the mats. He had a terrific tournament. The current freestyle rules are perfect for his style of wrestling, and we’re excited to see him earn a chance to compete at the Olympic Trials.”
Rey went 5-0 in the tournament, defeating Patrick Walsh of the Shamrock Wrestling Club 0-1, 4-4, 1-0 in the finals. Walsh wrestles collegiately for D-II power Pitt-Johnstown. A native of Hopatcong, N.J., Rey is ranked tenth nationally at his weight class in the latest U.S. Senior Freestyle Rankings. Current assistant coach Jon Trenge was the last Lehigh wrestler to compete in the Olympic Trials as an undergraduate. Trenge took an Olympic deferral year in 2004 and placed fourth at the trials at 96 kg (211.5 lb.).
This past season, Rey deferred his eligibility while rehabbing his knee injury. He returned to the mats competitively in February, competing unattached and placing fourth at the Edinboro Open, winning five of seven bouts in the process. Rey came to Lehigh as a two-time New Jersey state champion and top-50 national recruit from Hopatcong High School.
Although he was the only Mountain Hawk to qualify for the Olympic Trials in Brockport, Rey was not the only Mountain Hawk who enjoyed a strong tournament. A total of eleven Lehigh wrestlers entered the tournament, competing for the LVAC. In addition to Rey, junior Matt Fisk (60 kg/132) and freshmen John Connor McDonald (55 kg/121) and Sean Bilodeau (74kg/163) all placed third in their respective weight classes. All three deferred their eligibility this past season.
While Rey shifts his training focus to the Olympic Trials, the spring freestyle season continues for the Mountain Hawks. A contingent of Lehigh wrestlers is expected to compete at the University National Championships, beginning Thursday in Akron, Ohio.