Oklahoma State senior Alex Dieringer didn't wasted any time after winning his third NCAA national championship focusing on his future goals.
Dieringer plans to compete for a 74 kg freestyle spot on the U.S. Olympic team at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials from April 8 to 10 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.
It won't be easy for Dieringer. His weight classes features defending Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs, former four-time NCAA national champion Kyle Dake and two-time NCAA national champion and Dan Hodge Trophy-winner David Taylor.
But Dieringer knows what it takes to make the Olympics. He's seen it first-hand.
"I actually got to watch Coleman Scott's Olympic run, and to be honest, that really, really helped my wrestling. I give some of my credit to that because 2012 I got to watch him every day fighting hard with Coach (Eric) Guerrero," Dieringer told The Stillwater News-Press. "... .It all paid off and just to be able to watch that in person was just amazing. So I plan on staying around at least until 2020 -- pretty much until I'm done wrestling."
Scott, the 2008 NCAA national champion at 133 pounds and four-time All-American at OSU, won bronze at the 2012 Games at 60kg. He won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, but did not qualify for the Games because the U.S. had not qualified in the 60kg freestyle. After the U.S. qualified for the weight, a best-of-three championship series at Times Square was held, pitting Scott against Reece Humphrey and Shawn Bunch, who he beat two to one in the final for the 60 kg spot.
Scott, who is current the head coach at North Carolina, beat Lee Seung-Chul and Malkhaz Zarkua before falling to eventual gold medalist Toghrul Asgarov. Scott defeated Kenichi Yumoto for bronze. He'll be looking to make the Olympic team as well, this time at 57 kg.
Dieringer won't just be training with Guerrero and OSU head coach John Smith, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. He plans to coach.
"I'll be a wrestler for life. I'm going to give back to the sport that gave me so much," Dieringer said in his post-match press conference. "So I'll be wrestling until my body can't take it anymore then I'll get into coaching and help little wrestlers out and reach their goals."
Coaching could come sooner than Dieringer thinks. When Scott was training in Stillwater he served as a voluntary assistant coach.