Doane wrestling coach eyeing 2020 Olympics
In five months a local wrestling coach is hoping he'll be representing Team USA in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
He's been training for the last three years, since he's graduated college, and quickly making a name for himself.
At 24-years-old Ceron Francisco has his eyes on the 2020 Olympics.
Reaching Tokyo would be his first time at the Olympic level and he even got the rings tattooed for motivation.
Ceron Francisco is in his 1st season with the Doane wrestling staff.
He says training for the Olympics is different than college training.
"It's more of a shorter intense practice (it's) kind of focusing on explosion, cardio and not so much of a grind, but more so staying healthy and feeling good when the time comes,” said Ceron Francisco.
Francisco wrestled for Doane’s GPAC rival the Concordia Bulldogs.
He won GPAC Player of the Year and 3 conference titles.
He says it doesn’t matter what level school you go to you can compete with the best.
"I came from the NAIA, but I’m wrestling some of the best guys in the world. Everyone trains; everyone eats and sleeps so you shouldn't respect anyone just because of the type of singlet they're wearing,” said Francisco.
The assistant coach says the Olympic goal came to him after a rough start to his collegiate career.
"I had a terrible freshman year. It was a learning thing, and I went like 8-25, but something snapped in me that I could be the best wrestler in the world, and the following year I was an All-American, so I’ve just been getting better from there," said Francisco.
In the most recent USA national ratings Francisco ranked 10th at 285 pounds.
He narrowly missed the 2019 World Championship Trials, but could soon add Olympic Trials Qualifier to his resume.
"I've devoted my life to this. Representing my country would just mean the world,” said Francisco.
Francicso hasn't qualified yet, but has his last chance at a tournament next month. If he advances he'll go to the Olympic trials which are in April at Penn St.