ADVERTISEMENT

Lauren Mariacher and Jordan Burroughs

Some couples meet at school. Others find each other at church or on the job. But for Lauren Mariacher and Jordan Burroughs, it was a wrestling tournament that eventually brought them together.

Not just any tournament: the 2011 NCAA Championships in Philadelphia.

Mariacher was there to watch her younger brother Matt compete for American University when, on a mat in front of where she was sitting with her family, another wrestler caught her eye.

“She was supposed to be watching her brother,” laughed Burroughs, who went on to win an Olympic Gold medal in the men’s freestyle 74 kg at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

As the story is told on the couple’s wedding website: “She requested him on Facebook when she arrived home, and he thought to himself, ‘Wow, a good-looking wrestling fan!’ He messaged her, and they began chatting.”

A few months later Burroughs taught a wrestling clinic in Warsaw, N.Y., and asked Mariacher if she would like to meet him.

She said yes.

She gave him the same answer when he proposed to her last Easter after they had completed a grueling, mile-long climb up Pike’s Peak mountain in Colorado.

The two married Oct. 12 at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum on North Street; Todd Doxzon, a pastor in Omaha, Neb., and the husband of Mariacher’s cousin, performed the ceremony. A reception for 280 guests was held at the Connecticut Street Armory.

Mariacher, 27, who until recently was a sports and town reporter for The Buffalo News, attended Iroquois High School and graduated from Canisius College with a degree in communications and journalism. She earned her master’s degree at Columbia University in 2009. She is the daughter of Matthew and Louise Mariacher of Elma.

Burroughs, 25, the son of Leroy and Janice Burroughs and the youngest of four, was raised in Sicklerville, N.J. He attended Winslow Township High School. He graduated with a degree in sociology from the University of Nebraska, where he was a two-time NCAA wrestling champion. In September Burroughs, who continues to compete, won a gold medal at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The couple, who make their home in Lincoln, Neb., like to joke that Mariacher, who has three younger brothers – all wrestlers – “has survived double leg takedowns her whole life.”

– Susan Martin