IOWA CITY, Iowa -- For the first time in his career, R.C. Johnson has won his weight class at the Olympic trials.
The problem is, USA Wrestling hasn't qualified in the 96kg division of Greco Roman wrestling on a world level.
The Plymouth, Minn., native took the huge step towards punching his ticket to London by winning Sunday night's championship match in the 96kg class.
The former Armstrong High School Falcon endured through two hard fought matches over Pete Gounaridis before finally raising his arms in tiumph on the center mat of the Carver Hawkeye arena in Iowa City.
Johnson, who won the U.S. Open earlier this year, has been pursuing this dream for some time. He's come close before, but this year, the 29 year old was the number one seed in his weight class, and he lived up to the favorite status.
Now, he must await for an American wrestler to win an international match in that weight division, and then, and only then will he become an Olympian.
If the U.S. doesn't qualify in two more meets, Johnson will stay home in Colorado Springs where he resides these days.
Johnson becomes the second Minnesotan to win at this weekend's trials. Saturday night, Chas Betts of St. Michael earned a spot in London with his victory in the 84 kg Greco Roman division.
The Olympic Games start in London on July 27.
(Copyright 2012 KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)