Appalachian State University wrestling alumnus Austin Trotman earned a gold medal at the 2012 New York AC International in men's freestyle on Saturday, Nov. 10, his first career
senior-level tournament since graduating from Appalachian last year. Trotman, the all-time winningest wrestler in Appalachian history, defeated Russia's Koloy Kortoev at 185 pounds, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0. The victory was Trotman's first international championship at the senior level.
"The time in New York was very fun," Trotman said. "It's fun to still compete even though I'm out of college and just seeing a lot of big named guys, knowing I am at the same playing level as they are now."
For his efforts throughout the day, Trotman was named the invitational's Most Outstanding Wrestler, surprising the All-American.
"I was shocked," Trotman said. "Winning that award really meant that I was right there with the best and I can step up to the next level."
The former App State standout was one of five U.S. athletes to earn gold medals at the tournament and will compete in more Senior level tournaments in the near future, eventually shifting his focus to the U.S. Olympic Trials for 2016 and 2020.
Trotman joined the Mountaineers in 2009, the first season current head coach JohnMark Bentley took over for longtime head coach Paul Mance. Trotman has spent time in Boone, as well as Colorado Springs, training for future senior-level tournaments.
"Austin has had a great six months and is really starting to blossom," Bentley said. "He is more suited for freestyle compared to folkstyle because he doesn't have to wrestle on the mat and puts more of the match on his feet, which is where he is best at."
Trotman has been training with the current Appalachian coaching staff and team, learning as much as he can and also showing what he knows to the current Mountaineers.
"It has been good for our guys because they're getting to train with someone who is doing that well on the international circuit," Bentley said. "It will pay dividends for them, help them improve mentally and they will feed off of him."
Trotman finished his App State career with 129 career victories and, along with Kyle Belvins, became the first All-American in the program's history since 2003.
Photo Courtesy: Austin Trotman, ASU Athletics