Wildcat of the Week: Jake Herbert

As LTP noted yesterday very briefly, Northwestern will have at least one Olympian in this summer’s games in London. Northwestern alumnus Jake Herbert earned his way onto the U.S. Olympic wrestling team.

He won the freestyle at 185 pounds to sew up his spot on the team. And he was pretty dominant in doing it. Herbert did not give up a point heading into his final match against Travis Paulson. His match with Paulson was as difficult as you would expect a finals with the Olympics on the line. Paulson won the first match 3-2, before he went on a scoring tear easily winning the final two to become Northwestern’s first Olympian in wrestling since 1992.


“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” Herbert said moments after the finals. “Being an Olympian is amazing, but I just can’t wait to get back to my family and hang out with them tonight. It’s been a big sacrifice. The ups and downs have been crazy this year. I’ve been hurt. I’ve been injured. I’ve been emotionally hurt and physically hurt, and to be able to come through and come back and dig deep and get this is huge.”


This is an incredible accomplishment for the two-time NCAA champion. As LJ Rader of NBC Sports notes, this was a long time coming for Herbert. Not only was he an NCAA champion, but he was a silver medalist at the World University Games and a favorite to finally break through and get to the Olympics. A little bit of luck with 2004 gold medalist Cael Sanderson, having already qualified and then subsequently retiring, opting not to compete helped but this accomplishment was certainly all Herbert.

There is still a long way to go before he gets to London and faces the likes of Azerbaijan’s Sharif Sharifov and Ukraine’s Ibragim Aldatov in a wide open race. Herbert has to wait a while too. His weight class does not wrestle until August 11, the penultimate day of the Olympic games.

Herbert will not be the only Wildcat in London either. Matt Grevers, the silver medalist from the 2008 Olympics in the 100-meter backstroke, is one of the rising stars in the U.S. swimming ranks and should be a favorite to medal again. There is also Alex Marcotullio, who is a finalist for the Great Britain Olympic basketball team.

Honorable Mentions

Claire Pollard, Women’s Tennis: Fourteen years. Think about how long that is. That is nearly enough time for four full classes of students to matriculate through Northwestern. In that time Northwestern’s women’s tennis team has been nothing short of amazing in that time. The Wildcats wrapped up their 14th straight Big Ten title. The team has been dominant again this year. The Cats clinched the title with a 7-0 victory over Indiana. This is a great accomplishment for the team.

Sam Chien, Men’s Golf: Northwestern had a disappointing Saturday at the Kepler Collegiate tournament in Columbus. But Northwestern bounced back with the best team score in the final round to finish fourth. Chien fired an even-par 71 to shoot up the leaderboard in the final day, going up from 44th to 13th on the final day. Chien is not the best-known of the Northwestern golfers on this year’s very solid team, he even finished third on the team in this tournament. Chien is a solid golfer and will be important for the team as NU takes on the NCAA tournament.

Lauren Weaver, Women’s Golf: Weaver had the fourth hole-in-one in Northwestern history and then led a strong charge from the Wildcats to rise to sixth place. Weaver finished tied for 11th with a 6-over 78 at the season-ending Lady Buckeye Invite.

Where In The World Is Brittany Peterson?

In our daily quest to drum up support for both the LTP Flag Project where you the fans take photos of yourself with the Wildcat “N” from around the world and we’ll integrate it on to a Google map, we’re tracking NUMB Alum contributor Brittany Peterson who is currently a one woman show. She’s putting new stops on the map on a daily basis and we’re having fun trying to offer up clues to where she is. Send your photos to laketheposts@gmail.com and help spread the purple passion.

Today’s clue. You folks are a well-traveled set, so I’m trying to be a bit more coy in the clue department.  I should be calling Pre-Snap Read out of the pen for his masterful clues. So, here we go. The location of the day is a location that would likely be a no-brainer for Morty Schapiro based on his pre-Northwestern days, but like our lacrosse team, the American version of this entity is known for a much more obscure sport. If you want to get technical the full name of the locale would be completed with the same type of building that is known in Northwestern lore for its 9 pm social time. Have at it.

LTP Purple Ticket Challenge

We need to start cranking on bringing in NEW season ticket holders. We’re on the quest for a packed house of 47,130 mostly purple and it starts with you. Utilize the efficiencies of getting a season ticket (in the $34 range per ticket) and save from single game tickets like Nebraska ($75). Let’s get it rolling folks…we’ve got to get to 200. Share your story with me at laketheposts@gmail.com and I’ll offer up the shout outs.

  • DT

    Congratulations to Jake! Outstanding accomplishment– and all of us with affinity for NU Athletics should be proud… One of the finest NU Student Athletes ever..

    All the best in London, Mr. Herbert! USA! USA!

  • Jim

    NU WLAX still # 1, but now sharing 1st place votes !

    The differences among the core 5 teams at the top of the polls and the power rankings is getting slimmer ( NU, Syracuse, Maryland, Florida and UNC ) http://www.laxpower.com/polls/matrix_poll.php?pollDate=2012-04-23&pollType=IWLCA&pollDiv=I ( does not reflect last nights results. )
    In addition to Florida’s win over NU, on Monday evening Maryland beat UNC ( a team it lost to two weeks ago ) to claim the ACC Championship.

    This core of 5 are the teams most likely to host NCAA tournament games as well as being the odds on favorites to meet up at Stony Brook for the semis and championship games.

    The #6 Fighting Irish come to Lakeside Field for a 7 o’clock game under the lights Wednesday.

  • LondonCat

    That would be Trinity College Dublin library. Although I recognised this one, you really need to change the names of the JPG files!

  • Andrew

    Congrats to Jake, whom I got to cover for The Daily during his sophomore season. He is definitely one of the most intense athletes I’ve ever met and a lot of fun to deal with. I remember having to interview him one time while he was working out because he wouldn’t stop for even a few minutes, and he gave me this highly confident quote.

    “A lot of hard work,” said Herbert about what makes him good. “I feel like I’ve outworked everyone at my weight class. There are not many as driven as me. I f***ing hate losing and you have to have that attitude. When I wrestle I know the other kid out there on the mat hasn’t worked as hard as me and made the sacrifices I’ve made. I’m insulted he thinks he can beat me.”