LARAMIE, Wyo. -
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An opportunity of a lifetime awaits University of Wyoming volunteer assistant coach Clayton Foster this weekend. Foster will compete for a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio at the United States Olympic Trials in Iowa City, Iowa. The event will be held in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday and Sunday. Foster will compete in the men's freestyle at 86 kilograms.
Fans can watch the action live on NBC Sports Live Extra with every session streamed. NBC Sports Network will air matches on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. MT and Sunday at 8:30 p.m. MT.
Foster is currently ranked eighth in the latest USA Wrestling men's freestyle Olympic Team trials ranking. He qualified for the event by finishing sixth at the U.S. Nationals/Trials Qualifier at the Las Vegas Convention Center in December. Foster has earned 11 top-three finishes in freestyle events at the junior and senior level. He won the 2015 Dave Schultz Memorial tournament in 2015.
Foster had a great run in international competition in 2013-2014, wrestling in association with the Wyoming Wrestling Regional Training Center. He qualified for the U.S. World Team Trials in May 2014 for the second year. He was 2-1 to finish as the runner up in the challenge bracket at the Trials. For the second-straight season, he was the runner-up in the 86-kilogram (185 pounds) class at the ASICS Las Vegas/Open Wrestling Championships in April 2014, going 5-1 with three technical falls and one pin.
He had an impressive weekend on March 15-16, 2014, to become a World Cup gold medalist for Team USA. He posted four dual wins to his resume over the weekend, including victories over two high-profile international opponents. In one of his most notable performances, Foster took out Iran's Ehsan Lashgari 7-5 with a late takedown. Lashgari was a bronze medalist in both the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2013 World Championships. Foster then upended Ukraine's Ibragim Aldatov, 7-2. Aldatov is a two-time World Champion.
He earned a gold medal at the Stepan Sargsyan International freestyle competition in Vanadzor, Armenia, on Aug. 6, 2013. Foster defeated Dato Marsagishvili of Georgia in the title bout. Marsagishvili was the 2012 Summer Olympic bronze medalist at 84 kilograms and was ranked first in the world at the weight. A week later, he was third in the Ziolkowski Memorial International freestyle competition in Spala, Poland, at 84 kilograms/185 pounds. In February 2014, Foster went 3-2 at 86 kilograms (189 pounds) to finish fifth in the Yasar Dogu International freestyle tournament in Istanbul, Turkey.
In 2013, Foster earned a spot on the U.S. Senior World Team, finishing second in the U.S. Senior World Team Trials in July 2013. Foster was the runner-up in the U.S. Open in March 2013.