By Jason Elmquist and Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Former Oklahoma State University wrestler Coleman Scott spent months training and preparing for his triumphant return to Gallagher-Iba Arena for the U.S. World Team Trials Friday. Unfortunately, Scott’s return was anything but triumphant as he went down with an injury 41 seconds into his first match — ending his tournament.
“He trained well, he trained right and it was a little bit of a freak accident today,” OSU coach John Smith said. “It’s something that’s a little easier to get over, because you know you trained well and did all the right things. Things happen that sometimes just makes no sense.”
Scott said he knew instantaneously what was wrong.
"It was pretty intense (pain) there for a little bit," said Scott, who confirmed that he was told it was a torn pectoral muscle. "But I think I was a little more upset that it was my homecoming to Gallagher-Iba — it's my home, it's where I live, it's the fans I love and the ones who have pushed me for the last eight years.
"It felt like I let them down a little bit. That's what I was more disappointed about, in the sense that I couldn't fulfill my dream in front of them and let them share that with me."
Scott returned to the arena for the recognition of Olympians during the final matches, with his arm in a sling — receiving one of the largest ovations from the Gallagher-Iba crowd.
"I was a little hesitant, but my dad and my wife made me come down," Scott said. "I really didn't want to, I'm just little bit embarrassed — not for what happened. ... It would have been different if I just had lost, but I only wrestled 20 seconds this whole weekend, so it's a little bit upsetting to me. I feel like I let my fans down."
The bronze medal winner was uncertain on the severity of the injury and said he will likely know more on Monday.
"They couldn't really do much today, so I'm going to fly out to Colorado Springs on Monday and sort of go from there and see about surgery and stuff," Scott said. "I really have no clue."
The injury is believed to be a pectoral tear. Scott was the top-seed in the 96 kilogram bracket. Jim Davis, a spectator from Georgia saw the match and injury and said it was tough to watch one of the top wrestlers go down.
“It’s a shame because he was fired up and ready to go and now he’s just out,” Davis said.
Richard Nigro a longtime OSU fan and wrestled from 1948-1952 said it was definitely a serious injury.
“Whenever you get hurt like that, you can’t continue, but it wasn’t the other guy’s fault,” Nigro said. “That’s sad that it happened, but it happens.”
From Davis’ perspective it looked like Scott twisted up his shoulder because he was in an awkward position but doesn’t think it will affect his future.
“He’s got a bright future,” Davis said. “He’s still got time to get ready for other things. Just have to get healthy.”
Wallace Brasuell, an OSU alumni from Broken Arrow had a different opinion about Scott’s future.
“The next thing up is the world championships and he can’t qualify for that,” Brasuell said. “That’s in two years.”
Nigro said whether Scott is able to recover, depends on the damage.
“If it’s a repairable thing or if it will heal on it’s own, he can continue to wrestle, but it depends on if he’s going to need some major surgery, his wrestling career might be over.”
Smith agrees and said it will take a little time for Scott to recover.
“He was in a little pain that he wasn’t going to continue and a lot of pain from the injury,” Smith said. “It’s going to be a long four to six months for him. He’s a tough guy and been through a lot of tough situations. I expect him to get better pretty quick.”
Stillwater NewsPress sports reporter Andrew Glover contributed to the report.