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Jesse Ruiz – Mexico, Freestyle wrestling – Santa Ana College

Former Santa Ana College student-athlete Jesse Ruiz qualified as a member of the Mexican Olympic team and will compete in the 2012 Olympics in London, England. He will compete as a heavyweight in the freestyle division. The other wrestling division at the Summer Olympics is Greco-Roman.

The major difference between the two divisions is that holds below the waist are not allowed in Greco-Roman wrestling. Freestyle wrestling is more like collegiate wrestling, which Ruiz has excelled at his entire career.

Ruiz was a two-time All-American at Santa Ana College (2003, 2004) and finished second in the California Community College Athletic Association state finals both years.

Competing for Mexico, Ruiz qualified his country for the Olympics. Ruiz placed second in the division, placing behind Canada's Arjan Bhullar at the 2012 Pan American Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Florida last March. The top two finishers at each weight class qualified their countries for the 2012 Olympic Games. Ruiz is only one of two wrestlers to represent Mexico at the London Games.

Following his career at Santa Ana College, Ruiz, 26, transferred to Menlo College where he was a national association of Intercollegiate Athletics champion his junior year. He also was named All-American his junior and senior year.

Ruiz is now a volunteer assistant coach at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, S.C.

Read about more past and present Olympians...