Brothers take hold of a wrestling dream

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 21, 2012 - 8:47 AM

Taking different paths to wrestling success, the Schlatter brothers are giving their all to go to London.

hide

C.P. Schlatter, left, competes in Greco-Roman and Dustin Schlatter in freestyle. They train together, live together and hope to compete in the Olympics together.

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

C.P. and Dustin Schlatter mirror each other in lots of ways, as close-knit brothers often do. Both wrestled for the Gophers with great success. Both have competed around the world, and both will take part in this weekend's U.S. Olympic trials in Iowa City.

They live together, work out together and covet the same thing: to win a spot on the team that will compete in this summer's London Olympics. But for a time, the Schlatters' lives followed different paths, bringing them to one destination via two routes.

C.P., 27, quit the sport for two years and embarked on a nursing career before returning to Greco-Roman wrestling. Dustin, 25, relishes every second on the mat and has worked with the Gophers while competing in freestyle. Since setting their sights on the Olympics, the brothers have thrived on their common ground, sparing no effort in pursuing a dream that dates to their childhood.

"We've been working our butts off," said Dustin, who wrestles at 66 kilograms (145.5 pounds), the same as his brother. "We've been training toward this our whole lives but particularly in the last year, with the trials in mind. Now that we're down to the home stretch, we're both excited, and we're both ready."

Brandon Paulson, one of C.P.'s coaches with the Minnesota Storm club, has seen the brothers sweat through countless wrestling practices and weightlifting sessions. Aside from their dedication to their sport, he said, they are "polar opposites." C.P. is ultra-organized, always on task and on time. Dustin is more relaxed and willing to go with the flow.

Paulson said they complement each other well, perhaps because the glue that holds them together is far stronger than their differences. The Schlatters grew up in St. Paris, Ohio, rambunctious boys whose father built them a wrestling room in the basement.

C.P. first tried the Greco-Roman style in middle school and found he was well-suited to a sport that requires great balance and upper-body strength. Dustin followed him, in typical little-brother fashion, but soon realized his calling was in freestyle.

With the Gophers, C.P. won Big Ten titles in 2006 and 2007. But the grind of college wrestling had worn him down, and he happily left it behind as he went to work in the intensive-care unit at Fairview Southdale Hospital.

"I didn't want to touch the mat again, ever," C.P. said. "During those two years off, I didn't practice. I didn't do anything. Then Dustin made the world team, and that opened my eyes a little bit."

That happened in 2009, while Dustin -- the 2006 NCAA champion at 149 pounds -- was taking a redshirt year before his senior season with the Gophers. Representing the U.S. at the world championships fulfilled a long-held goal, but failing to place left him feeling unsatisfied.

He had a similar experience when a knee injury spoiled his final season with the Gophers. Dustin's commitment to the sport never wavered during a seven-month rehabilitation, and when C.P. resumed training in 2010, the brothers began laying the groundwork for the Olympic trials.

C.P., who had not competed in Greco-Roman for seven years, cut back to one shift a week at the hospital so he could pour himself into training. He and Dustin traveled to places such as Cuba, Azerbaijan and Belarus to train and compete, winning international medals and rising through the USA Wrestling ranks. C.P. won the U.S. Open title at 66 kg. earlier this year, and Dustin won the prestigious NYAC International last November.

Though Dustin faces a host of tough opponents at the trials -- including longtime nemesis Brent Metcalf, who wrestled at Iowa -- he said none has dominated, and he is among several wrestlers capable of winning. In C.P.'s class, two-time world medalist Justin Lester reigns as the favorite. The brothers said they are entering the trials healthy, well-prepared and confident.

Dustin, who is pursuing a master's degree in sports management at the U, plans to stay involved with wrestling for the long term. C.P. said he considers this season his "last chance" in the sport; he is eager to get back to his medical career, and with a serious girlfriend, his days as Dustin's roommate also could be numbered.

So both of them will enjoy being on the same path again, knowing it might last only a little while longer. "Both of us have had a lot of great experiences in this sport," C.P. said. "Now everything we've worked for these past couple of years is coming down to one day. I think both of us are a little nervous. But mostly we're excited."

  • related content

  • Chart: U.S. Olympic wrestling trials

    Friday April 20, 2012

    The competition: Olympic team members will be determined in men's freestyle (seven weight classes), Greco-Roman (seven classes) and women's freestyle (four classes). The winner of each class will represent the...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Denver 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Denver 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Portland 7:00 PM
Houston
Utah 7:00 PM
Memphis
Toronto 7:00 PM
Chicago
Atlanta 7:30 PM
Dallas
LA Clippers 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Sacramento 9:30 PM
Golden State
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Washington
Nashville 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Florida
Arizona 9:00 PM
Vancouver
San Jose 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Calgary 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ark-Little Rock 64 FINAL
Bradley 54
Brown 67 FINAL
Central Conn St 55
Stetson 59 FINAL
Florida State 63
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
Northwestern 63
Ohio 49 FINAL
George Washington 77
Southern Utah 61 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 70
Elon 67 FINAL
Kennesaw St 65
Dartmouth 49 FINAL
Penn State 69
Green Bay 70 FINAL
UC Irvine 72
DePaul 58 2nd Half 3:51
Colorado 76
Lewis & Clark 39 2nd Half 6:04
Portland 67
SC State 30 2nd Half
Abilene Christian 23
Manhattan 22 1st Half 5:56
Fordham 21
Truett-McConnell 16 1st Half 7:10
Ga Southern 27
Citadel 22 1st Half 6:49
Michigan State 23
Miami-Ohio 14 1st Half 5:43
Ohio State 34
Gardner-Webb 22 1st Half 7:17
Purdue 29
Idaho 18 1st Half 7:57
Northern Ky 20
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Albany
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Alcorn State
UT Martin 6:00 PM
Butler
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
UCF
Oakland 6:00 PM
Clemson
Florida A&M 6:00 PM
East Carolina
Eastern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
IUPU-Ft Wayne 6:00 PM
Illinois State
Norfolk State 6:00 PM
James Madison
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Towson 6:00 PM
Navy
Long Island 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
William & Mary 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Liberty 6:00 PM
Princeton
Delaware 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
MD-Eastern Shore 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Colgate 6:00 PM
Syracuse
Kansas 6:00 PM
Temple
Mercer 6:00 PM
Tennessee
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Va Military 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Western Mich
New Orleans 6:05 PM
Indiana
Columbia 6:30 PM
Connecticut
Long Beach State 6:30 PM
St Johns
Wofford 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Southern U 7:00 PM
Baylor
UAB 7:00 PM
Chattanooga
Char Southern 7:00 PM
Colorado State
North Florida 7:00 PM
Iowa
NC Central 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Rice 7:00 PM
Lamar
Central Mich 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Coppin State 7:00 PM
Michigan
Furman 7:00 PM
Minnesota
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Weber State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma
Grambling St 7:00 PM
TCU
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Penn 7:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Chicago State 7:00 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Simpson 7:05 PM
Drake
Tenn Tech 7:05 PM
UMKC
Murray State 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oral Roberts 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Arkansas
Wisconsin 8:00 PM
California
Coll of Charleston 8:00 PM
LSU
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Marquette
Northern New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
UC Santa Barbara 8:00 PM
Oregon
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Providence
Northeastern 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Kent State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
UC Davis 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Lewis-Clark State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Walla Walla 8:05 PM
Portland State
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Marshall 9:00 PM
Nevada
Boise State 9:30 PM
Houston
UC Riverside 10:00 PM
San Diego St
Tulane 10:00 PM
Washington
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Hawaii
BYU 48 FINAL
Memphis 55
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 54 FINAL
Ohio State 96
UMBC 87 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 78
Cornell 79 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 61
St Bonaventure 70 FINAL
Georgetown 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Northeastern 62
Eastern Washington 67 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 63 FINAL
Texas Southern 69
Butler 72 FINAL
Illinois State 60
UC Davis 53 2nd Half 3:15
(16) Stanford 65
Washington St 73 2nd Half 5:49
Loyola Marymount 46
Sacramento St 65 2nd Half 11:21
San Jose St 68
SIU-Edwardsville 34 2nd Half
UMKC 18
Oakland 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Belmont 6:00 PM
(14) Georgia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Longwood
Kansas 6:05 PM
Creighton
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Kansas State
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Missouri
Hampton 7:00 PM
DePaul
Florida State 7:00 PM
Tulane
Murray State 7:00 PM
Illinois
Fla Gulf Coast 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
BYU 8:00 PM
Utah State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close