Lowney leaving U after this season

Brian Stensaas

In an effort to further enhance his international training, Minnesota junior heavyweight Garrett Lowney will not return to the Gophers next season.

“I really want to concentrate on making the Olympics again,” said Lowney, who won a Greco-Roman bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Games. “I weighed my options and I’ve given up a lot on both sides already. This time, I finally decided to focus on international competition.”

Along with his Olympic medal, Lowney was the 2002 U.S. Greco-Roman National Champion at 96kg and also captured the 2002 World Team Trials Greco-Roman title at the same weight.

The 2004 Summer Olympic Games are slated for next August in Athens, Greece.

Lowney is in his fifth year at Minnesota and will receive his marketing degree before leaving the school. He redshirted his first year and received an Olympic waiver his second season.

He was an All-American the past two years and is ranked as high as fifth in national polls this week.

“How can you doubt a guy wanting to go for the gold,” said Minnesota coach J Robinson, a member of the 1972 United States Olympic wrestling team. “You never want to see a guy like Garrett go, but he was very good about letting us know well in advance. That was very thoughtful on his part.”

Lowney informed the coaching staff of his decision well before this year began. The far notice allowed Minnesota to recruit freshman heavyweight Cole Konrad – from the same Freedom, Wis., high school as Lowney.

In addition to moving on in the wrestling world, Lowney is also moving on in life. The 23-year-old will wed his fiancée, Krystal, this Oct. 11.

Brian Stensaas covers wrestling and welcomes comments at [email protected]