Davison native Jon Reader in pursuit of Olympic dream
By Jeff Chaney
Michigan Grappler Staff Writer
12/27 - Jon Reader got the taste of being a champion again last year.
He hopes there is more of that in his future.
Reader, a three-time individual and four-time team champion while
wrestling for Davison High School, won the NCAA Division I 174-pound
championship for Iowa State last year in Philadelphia.
Now Reader is training and competing for a chance to wrestle for the
U.S.A. at next summer's Olympics in London.
He had time off during his busy schedule on Dec. 21, and took in
some high school wrestling at Rockford High School to talk about his
“Right I'm training for the Olympics and I'm a volunteer assistant at
Iowa State,” Reader said. “I have been competing a lot lately. I just
wrestles at an Olympic qualifier in Las Vegas and won at 185. And I
just got back from a tournament in France where I took third. I'm
working hard for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and everything is going great – I love to compete.”
Reader has the resume of success that most Olympic wrestlers have. While a prep wrestler at Davison, Reader went 234-6 and won three state championships. During his senior year, he went 60-0 with 56 pins. He was also key in leading the Cardinals to four team titles.
At Iowa State, he finished his career with a 124-23 record and a 10-3 win over Stanford's Nick Amuchastegui for the 174-pound national championship in March.
And as a junior in 2010, Reader was one of the favorites to win, but an injury prevented his dream of a championship and All American status.
“That was definitely a disappointing NCAA tournament,” Reader said. “I made it to the round of 12, but then lost to a kid that I (beat by technical fall) earlier in the year. But I say things happen for a reason, and I just think God put that road block there to make me stronger when I was a senior.”
No matter how far Reader makes it in wrestling, he always looks back to his roots as the reason he is the wrestler and person he is.
“(Davison coach Roy Hall) played a huge role in who I am today,” Reader said. “Also, (assistant coach Kent Elliot) played a big part. I couldn't have asked for two better coaches.”
He was watching that relationship of high school wrestler and coach play out at Rockford, as he was there to watch and cheer for a couple of Detroit Catholic Central wrestlers and coach Mitch Hancock.
“I'm here to watch (145-pounder Logan Marcicki and 189-pounder Kevin Beazley), I've close with their families for a while,” Reader said. “And it's good to come back and support Michigan high school wrestling.”
Detroit Catholic Central did not disappoint that night, beating Hesperia and Rockford in duals.
Reader will next be in action himself on Feb. 1 at the Dave Schultz Memorial Tournament in Colorado Springs.
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