Former Husker and Olympic team member Jordan Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) continued to add to his illustrious list of accomplishments this week when he was named the 2011 John Smith Award winner, given annually to the USA's top freestyle wrestler. The honor was given to Burroughs on Monday, April 30, by USA Wrestling.
Burroughs has been dominant since his final match at Nebraska when he became the school's first two-time national champion. The Sicklerville, N.J., native captured gold at the 2011 World Championships at 74 kg/163 pounds in Istanbul, Turkey, and has yet to lose an international match since graduating from NU. The three-time All-American earned a spot in the 2012 Olympic Games by defeating Andrew Howe in the finals of the 2012 Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa, last month.
Burroughs is Nebraska's first John Smith award winner in school history. The award is named after John Smith, who is a two-time Olympic Champion and four-time World champion. Last year's winner was J.D. Bergman. Burroughs will continue to train in Lincoln as he works towards his ultimate goal of winning gold at the Olympic Games in London this summer.
PAST JOHN SMITH AWARD WINNERS AS FREESTYLE WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
2011 - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb., Sunkist Kids
2010 - J.D. Bergman, Columbus, Ohio, New York AC
2009 - Jake Herbert, Evanston, Ill., New York AC
2008 - Henry Cejudo, Colorado Springs, Colo., Sunkist Kids
2007 - Daniel Cormier, Stillwater, Okla., Gator WC
2006 - Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo., Gator WC
2005 - Tolly Thompson, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2004 - Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2003 - Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2002 - Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2001 - Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2000 - Brandon Slay, Amarillo, Texas, Dave Schultz WC
1999 - Stephen Neal, Bakerfield, Calif., Dave Schultz WC
1998 - Sammie Henson, Norman, Okla., Sunkist Kids
1997 - Les Gutches, Corvallis, Ore., Sunkist Kids
1996 - Kendall Cross, Raleigh, N.C., Sunkist Kids
1995 - Kevin Jackson, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1994 - Melvin Douglas, Mesa, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1993 - Terry and Tom Brands, Iowa City, Iowa, Team Foxcatcher
1992 - John Smith, Stillwater, Okla., Sunkist Kids