Chas Betts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Minnesota Storm) was named 2012 Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the first time that Betts has won this prestigious award.
Betts placed ninth at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England at 84 kg/185 lbs., finishing with a 1-1 record. He continued the streak of Minnesota-based Greco-Roman athletes who made the U.S. Olympic Team, which goes back decades.
He qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team with a victory at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa in April, defeating Jordan Holm in the best-of-three finals series. He advanced to the finals with a win over Peter Hicks in the Challenge Tournament.
Betts had a strong run of international success early in 2012, starting with a 2-0 record at the Kiki Cup in Colorado Springs, Colo. in January. He followed with a gold medal at the Dave Schultz Memorial International in February, winning five matches including a victory of Jake Clark in the finals.
He won a gold medal at the Pan American Championships in Colorado Springs in late February, winning three matches, including a victory over World medalist Pablo Shorey of Cuba in the finals. At the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier in Kissimmee, Fla. in March, Betts won a silver medal, qualifying the United States to compete in his weight class at the Olympic Games.
Betts also won a bronze medal at the Granma Cup in Cuba in February. He also won the 2012 U.S. Open title at his weight class (held December 2011), for his first Senior National title.
He was a member of the 2009 U.S. World Team. Betts has been a top Senior-level star for a number of years, qualifying for the U.S. Greco-Roman National team for four straight years from 2009-2012. He was second in the 2010 World Team Trials and third in the 2011 World Team Trials. He also has placed in the U.S. Open six times, including a runner-up finish in 2010 and a third place finish in 2009 and 2008. Betts was fourth in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
He attended Northern Michigan University, where he was a member of the USOEC Greco-Roman program. Betts was very successful on the age-group level, placing second in the 2006 University World Championships and ninth in the 2005 Junior World Championships and winning a number of national age-group titles.
Betts is originally from St. Michael - Albertville High School in Minnesota, where he was a 2004 state champion and also won a 2004 Junior Nationals Greco-Roman title.
PAST GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
2012 - Chas Betts, Colorado Springs, Colo., Minnesota Storm
2011 - Justin Lester, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
2010 - Justin Ruiz, Meridian, Idaho, New York AC
2009 - Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
2008 - Adam Wheeler, Colorado Springs, Colo., Gator WC
2007 - Brad Vering, Colorado Springs, Colo., New York AC
2006 - Joe Warren, Colorado Springs, Colo., New York AC
2005 - Justin Ruiz, Colorado Springs, Colo., New York AC
2004 - Rulon Gardner, Wellsville, Utah, Sunkist Kids
2003 - Jim Gruenwald, Colorado Springs, Colo., Sunkist Kids
2002 - Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
2001 - Rulon Gardner, Cascade, Colo., Sunkist Kids
2000 - Rulon Gardner, Afton, Wyo., Sunkist Kids
1999 - Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
1998 - Matt Lindland, Lincoln, Neb., Sunkist Kids
1997 - Rulon Gardner, Gilbert, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1996 - Dennis Hall, Stevens, Point, Wis., Sunkist Kids
1995 - Dennis Hall, Stevens Point, Wis., Sunkist Kids
1994 - Dennis Hall, Stevens Point, Wis., Sunkist Kids
1993 - James Johnson, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids