Clayton Jack seeking Olympic Trials berth |

Clayton Jack seeking Olympic Trials berth

Clayton Jack

Clayton Jack, whose roots trace back to Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe, will be looking to take his first step toward the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro when he wrestles this weekend at the U.S. Senior Nationals and Trials Qualifier in Las Vegas.

Jack, a former All-American heavyweight at Oregon State University (2009-12), is entered in the freestyle division’s 125 kilogram (275 pounds) weight class in the tournament, which will be held today and Saturday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. A top-seven finish in the weight class will be good enough to earn a trip to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa, April 9-10, where the U.S. wrestling team will be determined for the Summer Olympic Games on Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro.

Competition this weekend in Las Vegas will be held in 18 Olympic weight classes, six weight classes in each of the three Olympic styles.

Jack’s parents, Dave and Diane, currently reside in Zephyr Cove and lived in Gardnerville when he was born. Dave Jack, who grew up in South Lake Tahoe, was an All-American and NCAA Western Regional champion for Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

“He has been training hard for a long time and should be competitive,” Dave Jack said of his son. “He is 4-0 on podium finishes in Vegas, so we like the odds.”

Jack, who stands 6-foot-5, compiled a 121-37 record at Oregon State and was a four-time qualifier for the NCAA Championships.

He won two conference championships and earned All-America recognition as a senior after he placed fourth at the 2012 NCAA tournament in St. Louis — he dropped a 4-3 decision to Tony Nelson of Minnesota in the semifinals.

In 2013, Jack signed a three-year contract with World Wrestling Entertainment.

As a senior at Vacaville (Calif.) High School in 2007, he won a California state heavyweight championship, pinning all five opponents and leading the Bulldogs to the state team title.