Jason Welch to return to competition in freestyle, training at the Chicago RTC

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Jan. 09, 2014, 2:33 p.m. (ET)
Photos of Jason Welch during his college career at Northwestern by Larry Slater

Former Northwestern star Jason Welch has announced that he will return to competition in freestyle wrestling through a recent blog post on his website.

Welch, an NCAA finalist and three-time All-American for Northwestern, will train at the Chicago Regional Training Center and compete for Wrestling Prep.

He is expected to compete at the new 70 kg/154 lbs. weight class, which is a non-Olympic weight contested at the World Championships. He will decide on which Olympic weight class to compete at later in the Olympic quadrennium.

“After six months post-NCAAs spent focused on coaching, travel, writing and graduate school, I’ve decided to start competing again. And in light of my passion for writing, I’m recording this new adventure in my life by blogging about whatever fate has in store for me this year,” wrote Welch in his blog.

Click here to read Jason Welch’s blog post on his return

Welch also announced that his first competition back on the mat would be the 2014 Cerro Pelado Tournament in Havana, Cuba, a top international event.

“I’m not only excited to test my skills against some of the best competitors in the world, but also eager to learn and cultivate relationships with some of these talented men. I’m always interested in learning from others, and this will be a great opportunity to do so,” wrote Welch.

Welch is a native of Walnut Creek, Calif., where he competed for Las Lomas High School and won three California state high school titles. Welch was an ASICS First Team All-American, and received the Junior Dan Hodge Trophy while in high school. Welch was also a Junior Nationals All-American in freestyle.

Welch was second at 157 pounds at the 2013 NCAA Championships, losing in the finals to Iowa’s Derek St. John, 3-2. He was fourth in the 2012 NCAA Championships and sixth in the 2011 NCAA Championships. Welch won two Midlands titles and a Big Ten title. He was also a USA Wrestling University Nationals All-American in 2009 and 2010 in freestyle.