Hanover's Howe leaves Wisconsin's wrestling program to pursue Olympic dream

2011-11-30T22:00:00Z 2012-08-30T23:31:24Z Hanover's Howe leaves Wisconsin's wrestling program to pursue Olympic dreamBy Steve Hanlon, (219) 933-4198
November 30, 2011 10:00 pm  • 

Andrew Howe wasn't just a Badger. The Hanover Central star wrestler was a real, big Badger. His growl could be heard all across the nation.

He won a NCAA championship his sophomore year at Wisconsin in 2010.

Now, though, Howe is at the University of Michigan and is taking an Olympic redshirt. At Hanover he finished his career 192-1, winning three state championships and one runner-up.

"No, I'm not at Wisconsin," Howe said on Wednesday night. "I don't want to talk about it too much. But I've been given permission to speak with other universities."

Howe is following coach Donnie Pritzlaff to Ann Arbor. Pritzlaff recruited Howe when he was at Wisconsin as an assistant coach, and Pritzlaff is now an assistant for the Wolverines.

Howe is not taking courses at Michigan. He is in full-time training for the 2012 London Olympics. Howe leaves Saturday for an international tournament in England.

"My entire focus now is on making the Olympic team," Howe said.

Howe is ranked No. 2 at 163 pounds. The Olympic Trials are in April in Iowa City. The top-ranked American is Jordan Burroughs.

In 2009 Howe finished third in the Junior World Tournament. The last two years he competed internationally at the Fila Golden Grand Prix tournament in Azerbaijan.

Last season at Wisconsin Howe battled a torn hamstring injury. He said he is 100 percent healthy and ready to go after whatever his future holds.

"This (London) tourney will have people from all over the world. It should be good, real strong," Howe said. "I really want to represent my country. I want to win for my country. I want to be the guy.

"I am healthy now. I feel great. I do."

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