Jordan Oliver stands one step away from the Tokyo Olympics.
The Easton graduate and two-time NCAA champion from Oklahoma State won the U.S. Olympic Trials at 65 kilograms (143 pounds) freestyle Saturday night with a 2-0 defeat in the best-of-three championship series with Joey McKenna at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
Oliver, who had edged Cornell’s two-time national champion Yianni Diakomihalis in a semifinal Friday night, topped McKenna 3-0 in their first bout Saturday and wrapped up the championship with a 5-2 triumph in the second bout.
For 15 of the 18 Olympic weights in action in Fort Worth, winning the trials would be an automatic ticket to the Summer Games in Tokyo.
But because the 65-kilogram freestyle was not a weight the U.S. had “qualified” for Tokyo, Oliver must qualify the weight by placing top-two at the World Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 6-9.
In both matches Saturday, Oliver was dominant on his feet and allowed McKenna, a Blair Academy graduate and 2019 NCAA runner-up for Ohio State, very little opportunity to effectively attack.
Oliver had previously struggled in Olympic trials, going 0-4 in his first two trips to the Olympic Trials. He was 4-0 this week, defeating McKenna twice, Diakomihalis 4-4 on criteria and Penn State’s national champion Nick Lee 8-3 in a quarterfinal.
Oliver will hope to follow in the footsteps of Easton graduate Bobby Weaver, who won a gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984.
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Brad Wilson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.