By ANDREW GLOVER
STILLWATER —Oklahoma State University senior wrestler Jordan Oliver has competed in some marquee matches in the Big 12 Championship and nationals. This past summer Oliver got to see the biggest stage in the world as he traveled to London to help eventual bronze medalist Coleman Scott train for the Olympics.
“Getting to go to the Olympics and experience that put a fire under me,” Oliver said. “Every time walking into the arena it gave me chills. Just thinking like when my time comes, performing on the big stage.”
In his final season, Oliver hopes his experience at the games will propel him to an individual national title.
Last season, Oliver finished second at the NCAA Championships falling to Logan Stieber of Ohio State by decision, 4-3, ending his season with a 28-2 record.
“That alone, finishing second was a big enough motivator for me,” Oliver said. “Get back on the mat and get after it, because ultimately no one wants to be runner-up. We have one goal here. At the end of the year that’s to win a national title individual wise and team wise.”
Sixty percent of Oliver’s matches ended with him pinning his opponent this past season, which set a school record. Oliver claimed his third-straight Big 12 title with a pin of Iowa State’s Shayden Terukina and beating Missouri’s Nathan McCormick for the championship. Five of his 28 victories were against eventual All-Americans. Oliver posted a 12-2 record against ranked opponents. Coach John Smith said Oliver has worked really hard in the offseason.
“He’s bounced back from that loss and seems ready for his senior year and help lead this team,” Smith said.
This season, Oliver is moving up two weight classes to the 149-pound class after competing in the 133-pound class last year.
“It’s the first in my career that anyone has moved two weight classes,” Smith said. “We will see how that works. I don’t think we will see him run through people like we have in the past. I think he is a tough kid and can do just about anything.”
Oliver said he is looking forward to the challenge.
“In the aspect of transferring over to international competition, I’m going to be wrestling 66 kilograms. Wrestling 145, I think it would be an easier transition for me. Also, just focusing this year on getting stronger. Focusing on technique and getting better rather than having to worry about my weight and other things like that. I definitely feel more comfortable at wrestling at 149.”
Oliver added he sees some advantages of wrestling bigger men.
“They are way slower than the lower weights,” Oliver said. “That’s always fun moving on the bigger guys. I’m just going to have fun with it. Not holding anything back this year, moving up two weight classes. I feel great, I’m healthy and focusing on winning the national title no matter what weight class I am. Whether it’s 33, 21 or 49.”