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Former Helena Capital standout Kallen Kleinschmidt qualifies for Olympic trials

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Kallen Kleinschmidt Kallen Kleinschmidt

(MTN News – CEDAR FALLS, Iowa) Kallen Kleinschmidt has dreamed of the Olympics since his days at Helena Capital High School. That dream could become a reality this summer.

Kleinschmidt qualified for the Olympic trials over the weekend after winning the 2016 Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier in the 97-kilgram weight class.

“We’ve been working pretty hard for quite a long time,” Kleinschmidt said. “I moved down to the (Olympic) training center in July. I didn’t have the best fall or winter but took the right steps moving forward in the spring time.

“This is another step forward.”

Kleinschmidt won by pinfall in 3:29 against Matthew Gibson to earn his qualifying position. The former Capital star has been working with Olympic gold medalist Brandon Slay and has seen drastic improvements to his freestyle.

“It’s an honor to work with Coach Slay,” said Kleinschmidt. “He does a great job. I always joke around with him and Bill Zadick at the training center and say, ‘After you get a pep talk from those guys you don’t need a cup of coffee.’ We’ve been working hard every day and it’s paying off.”

Kleinschmidt started his career at North Idaho College and finished at North Dakota State. He joins former Helena High star Toby Erickson as qualifiers for the Olympic trials. Former Philipsburg standout Barrett Stanghill has also qualified for the trials.

“It’s going to be a next step up, a little higher level obviously,” Kleinschmidt said of the competition that awaits. “I have to keep moving forward step by step, take it one match at a time and look to make a splash at trials.”

The road to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic games will continue for Kleinschmidt April 9-10 at the University of Iowa. The 97kg men’s freestyle is slated for Sunday morning.

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