Newman University alumnus and 2018 NCAA Division II national champion, Noel Torres earned an international medal at the Pan American Championships last month.
Although he only has been training for freestyle wrestling, the Olympic style of the sport, for two years, and had limited competition opportunities, Torres is off to an impressive start toward his goal of some day competing in the Olympics.
Representing Mexico, Torres had his first attempt at an Olympic qualifier last year but it was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, he had his one and only opportunity to qualify for the 2021 games at World OG Qualifier in Bulgaria in early May.
Competing in his first international event, Torres came up short in the meet where only the first and second place finishers qualify for the Olympics.
Despite missing his chance to qualify for the Olympics, Torres got a second taste of international competition at the Pan-American Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala on May 27-30. He lost his first match to American David Taylor III, the eventual champion. However, since his opponent made it to the championship bout, Torres was able to wrestle back for a chance to take third place. In the third place bout, Torres battled Colombia’s Rivera Garcia where he walked away with a 10-0 victory to earn his first podium spot in just his second international competition.
Despite not qualifying for the upcoming Olympic games, Torres said he’s not done yet and has now set his sights on the 2024 Olympics.
“For now, I plan on wrestling in those big international tournaments,” Torres said. “I plan on doing another cycle and qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games in either the World Tournament in 2023 or the Pan-American Championships in 2024.”
Next for Torres is the World Championships in Oslo, Norway October 2-10.