Rich Perry of the Pennsylvania Regional Training Center finished in the top 6 at the Olympic Trials held in Iowa City, IA this past weekend. Perry began his run for Olympic glory as the 7-seed against the 10-seed Tyler Caldwell of Sunkist Wrestling Club. Through solid preparation, Perry was able to explode to his offensive attacks and close out a dominating 10-4 performance. Perry had a highlight 4 point single leg that he transitioned into a driving double leg takedown which had so much explosion, it sent both wrestlers flying and tumbling in the air.
Perry next met 2-seed and 4x NCAA Champion Kyle Dake. Perry controlled the majority of the match by using his speed and explosiveness to take advantage of his opportunities. The first period ended on a questionable two which was awarded to Dake for a chest lock throw while he was out of bounds. The original scoring had two points awarded to Perry, while after the review it was determined that the two points were to go to Dake. This small exchange was the difference between going into the halftime with a 7-2 lead, as opposed to the called 5-4 score. To begin the second period, Perry jumped the angle on a front headlock and cinched a cradle, which was inches from a fall and gave him a 7-4 lead with 2:30 to go in the match. After multiple blood-time stoppages, Dake went on a scoring spree and finished off Perry’s chances of wrestling in Rio this summer. Dake won 10-7.
Although the ultimate goal was unachieved, Perry showcased his mental toughness by bouncing back and rattling off two consecutive victories on the back side of the bracket. Perry put away Clayton Foster of Titan Mercury Wrestling Club with a vicious cradle. That was the third time the pair had wrestled this year, with Perry extending his margin of victory in each consecutive match. That win propelled Perry into the Consi-Quarter Round against Deron Winn, the champion of the Last Chance Qualifier the weekend before. Perry controlled most of the positions in the match and looked extremely dominant as he moved onto the Consi-Semi Round with an 8-4 decision. There he met Keith Gavin, a veteran on the Senior International Circuit. Perry led the first period 1-0, but was taken down with a single leg that fell into a tight leg lace, which Gavin was able to roll through three times before Perry could cut it loose. Perry lost the match 8-1 and finished his Olympic Trials with a 3-2 record. Perry will spend his off-season building his body and his mind to compete at the highest levels of the sport again next season. He will also help grow the sport of wrestling with Beat The Streets Philadelphia as a mentor to inner-city youth.
“Although I didn’t reach my goal to qualify for Rio, I walked on the mat each time relaxed, ready to have fun, and ready to give my best effort. I’ve made gain from last years performance at the US World Team Trials but I still don’t believe I’ve wrestled close to my potential and that excites me.” – Richard Perry
1st Round / Round of 16: vs. Tyler Caldwell (Sunkist) – 10-4 Perry
2nd Round / Quarters: vs. Kyle Dake (TMWC) – 7-10 Dake
3rd Round / Consi pigtail: vs. Clayton Foster (WY RTC )- FALL Perry
4th Round / Consi Quarters: vs. Deron Winn (TMWC) – 8-4 Perry
5th Round / Consi Semis: vs. Keith Gavin (TMWC) – 1-8 Gavin