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Lahr Seldom Needs Help as 84-7 Record Indicates
April 1, 1964
BOULDER - Wrestler Dean Lahr, one of the greatest athletes in the history of the University of Colorado, has a lot to say for the sport he won his second national collegiate championship in last weekend.
“I think it’s the greatest sport there is,” said Lahr. “It proves the kind of person you are. When you’re out there on the mat, there’s just you and your opponent, and no teammates to help you.”
The senior engineering student doesn’t talk much about the figures, but he has proven 84 times in the last three years of collegiate, national and international competition that he could beat his opponent with out any help. In that period, he has lost only seven times and wrestled to four draws.
Four of his losses came when he was a sophomore, three to the same national champion, Bob Johnson of Oklahoma State. After that he never lost a collegiate match, but fell once in the Pan-American Games tryouts at 191.5 pounds last December, once to an Olympic champion in the World Tournament in Sophia, Bulgaria last year and once on a tour of Japan. He was a 42-2 dual meet record in college.
Titles to Lahr’s credit are 1963 and 1964 NCAA champion, 1963 and 1964 Big Eight Conference champion, 1963 National AAU champion, 1961, 1962 and 1964 Rocky Mountain AAU champion and fourth placer in the 1963 World Tournament.
By winning the national collegiate title, Lahr automatically qualified for the Olympic wrestling trials next August in New York. Before that, however, he will participate in preliminary trials starting May 24 at the Air Force Academy. Then he will enter the National AAU tournament in New York during June. If he makes the U.S. Olympic team, he will travel to Tokyo for the games in October.
The modest athlete does not predict whether he can win an Olympic medal in Tokyo. “The competition is so good, I’d be afraid to say.”
Lahr has not always been so devoted to wrestling. He came to the University
of Colorado from North High School on a football scholarship, and played
on the Orange Bowl team in 1961 as a sophomore. But he gave up football
after that to concentrate on the mat sport.
Lahr also has praise for his high school coach, Joe Klune, whose Denver Lincoln team placed second in the state tournament this year.
Linn Long said Lahr’s performance in the recent NCAA meet is typical of the wrestler. “He wanted it and it was going to take a real fine effort by somebody to take him out. There wasn’t any doubt about who was the best man in the finals.”
Lahr has trained constantly for the last three years, even though in the summer he let his weight go 30 pounds above the trim 177 pounds he wrestles at. “He never gets out of physical condition,” said Long.
Lahr and his wife, Beverly, have been married since August 1962. He
is the 22-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Lahr of Lakewood.
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