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  • Parent Category: Local Sports

Walker & Gentry Return from London Olympics

Rick Walker is a former Olympic hopeful who had his dreams of qualifying in the trials dashed when the U.S. boycotted the 1980 Games in Moscow.  The Kankakee Eastridge High graduate is now head coach for the Southern Illinois University swimming team.

He coached Egyptian distance swimmer Mazen Aziz, who swam collegiately for Walker at SIU. He finished 24th with a time of 1:54:33.

Matt Gentry, an Oregon native who married his college sweetheart and moved to Kankakee, finished fifth in the 74-kilogram freestyle wrestling event as a member of the Canadian wrestling team. He nearly forced a third and decisive period against heavily favored U.S. sensation Jordan Burroughs, who swept through four matches en route to winning the gold medal.

Gentry said before the meet that the Summer Games would mark an end to his competitive wrestling career,which includes a 2004 NCAA national championship.