McMaster’s Buckle off to Olympic trials

It’s a long way from the OFSAA to the Olympics, but first-year McMaster wrestler Jason Buckle will be taking the first step toward making that journey. Wrestling in the 55 kg weight class, Buckle will be competing at the 2012 Canadian Wrestling Qualification Trials being held in Winnipeg, Dec. 15-18,

This event will serve as the process for selecting athletes who will compete for Canada at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Buckle will be joined at the Canadian trials by senior Marauder teammates and defending Ontario University Athletics champions Ryan Blake (68 kg) and Kevin MacLellan (84 kg). McMaster alumnus Sean House will also be competing in the 84 kg weight class.

A graduate of Hamilton’s St. Jean de Brebeuf high school, Buckle has had an outstanding debut season in McMaster Maroon. Last year’s Ontario high school champion at 57 kg, Buckle has already captured gold medals at invitational meets hosted at McMaster and the University of Toronto. He will be one of the youngest competitors at the Canadian trials.

Marauder wrestling coach Nick Cipriano says that while Jason is in tough to garner an Olympic team berth, the trials will be great experience.

“Jason is talented, loves to compete, and is blessed with an unmatched work ethic,” said Cipriano. “Sending him to the trials is essentially reinforcing his goal of being an Olympian, and taking part this time around is critically important to his development.”

Cipriano adds that Buckle will be competing with more mature wrestlers, some as much as10 years older. However, looking ahead to the 2016 Olympic trials, Buckle will bring this year’s experience and more maturity with him to the competition and he will be a strong candidate for the Canadian team.

McMaster is host to the 2012 OUA Wrestling Championship on Feb. 10-11, in the Burridge Gymnasium.

The McMaster men’s wrestling team is currently ranked No. 8 in the latest Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Top-Ten rankings.