Frank Molinaro shockingly won the 65 kg weight class at U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials in April, but there was one problem: The United States hadn’t secured a spot in the Olympics at that weight class. However due to a technicality, United World Wrestling announced that Frank Molinaro would be allowed to compete as a result of disqualifications.
He traveled to Mongolia and Turkey for the two last chance qualifying tournaments, but failed to get himself a place in Rio on both occasions. Molinaro lost in the second round when he needed to finish in the top three of the Mongolia tournament. Then in Turkey last week, he didn’t advance past the quarterfinals when he needed to reach the final. He did, however, finish in third place after the repechage round.
Molinaro’s hopes of qualifying for the Olympics looked dead, but two wrestlers who qualified at the European Championships last April were disqualified after testing positive for Meldonium, one of the newest additions to the banned drug list that has tripped up many athletes in the past few months.
Molinaro had an illustrious college career with the Nittany Lions. He was named an All-American all four of his years in Happy Valley, which culminated in winning the National Championship at 149 lbs during his senior season in 2012. He returned to Cael Sanderson’s squad last year as an assistant coach with the 2016 National Championship team. Molinaro will be the only former Penn State wrestler competing in the Rio Olympics.