AMES, Iowa - Iowa State’s returning NCAA 197-pound champion, Jake Varner, is embarking on his trip to the World Wrestling Championships in Herning, Denmark. The World Wrestling Championships are being held Sept. 21-23. Varner, a senior Iowa Stater, is the U.S. representative in the 96-kg (211.5-pound) division.

Varner and the rest of the U.S. freestyle team are departing the country today to train and acclimate themselves to European living. The ISU 197-pounder will look to bring new U.S. success to the 96-kg spot where four-time American World team member Daniel Cormier used to be present. The weight has been won by Russia since 2004.

“I don’t care who I wrestle or what they’ve done,” Varner said. “I care about what I’m going to bring to the table.”

Former Cyclone NCAA champion Trent Paulson is a teammate of Varner’s on the U.S. World team. Paulson holds the rights to the U.S. spot at 66 kg (145.5 pounds).

The Iowa State wrestling room has been a perfect place of preparation for Paulson and Varner as they learn from ISU head coach and former Olympic and World gold medalist Kevin Jackson. Jackson served eight years (2001-08) as the national freestyle coach for USA Wrestling.

More online at