Former Dons standout Jesse Ruiz qualified to compete for Mexico in the 120 kg/264.5 lbs weight class at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
“He has proven that the athletic experience doesn’t stop at Santa Ana College,” said Avie Bridges, dean of exercise science and athletics. “It is great recognition for the college to have a former student-athlete participating in the Olympic experience.”
Ruiz joins other Dons Olympians, including jumper Ed Caruthers and water polo player Doug Kimbell. Caruthers competed in the high jump in the 1964 and ’68 games. Kimbell took part in the 1988 and ’92 games.
Ruiz made the Mexican team after an impressive performance at the Pan American Olympic Qualifiers in Florida on March 25.
“I think it is wonderful that he tried out for the Olympic team,” Bridges said. “It is even better that he has been successful. I look forward to watching him this summer.”
Ruiz wrestled for the Dons from 2003 through 2004, and was named an All-American in both years.
After his time at SAC, Ruiz transferred to Menlo College. In his first year as an Oak, he became a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics champion.