Rodriguez wins national title
SPOKANE, Wash. – Iowa Lakes’ Freddie Rodriguez rolled through the 125-pound bracket to earn at NJCAA National Title this past weekend.
The freshman from Lansing, Mich., recorded three pins and two decisions on the way to a dominating weekend.
Fellow freshman Brandon Sorenson, from North Las Vegas, Nev., was the only other Lake to medal as he finished fourth at 174 pounds.
“Freddie showed up as prepared and focused as any athlete I’ve ever coached,” said Iowa Lakes coach Cody Alesch. ” I knew he was going to have a great weekend and would be in the hunt for a title but to dominate like he did was something you don’t see at that level very often. When a kid is focused like he was it really has little to do with coaching at that point. I felt like coach (Matt) Mincey and I had a front row seat to his dominance from match one through the finals. We just had to show up.”
In the first day of the tournament, Friday, Rodriguez recorded two falls. He continued his dominance with a pin in 2:12 against Northwest College’s Cody Vichi.
In the semifinal, Rodriguez started his scoring in the second period with a reversal against Ellsworth’s Da’Wayne Robertson. After Robertson escaped, Rodriguez came up with a takedown and two nearfall points. The Laker freshman received a point for riding time to complete the 7-1 victory.
In the finals, Rodriguez started his scoring in the second period with an escape and a takedown and then scored another takedown in the third period on the way to a 6-1 victory over Josh Walker of Northeastern Oklahoma.
Sorenson made the semifinal by edging Lincoln College’s Archie Williams, 7-6, in the quarterfinal.
But against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M’s Payne Hatter, Sorenson had no answer in losing a 14-2 major decision. Sorenson battled back with a 1-0 over Northwest College’s Cole McArthur in the consolation semifinal.
In the match for third place, Garrett Miller of Rochester Community and Technical College came up with the pin against Sorenson in 5:15.
“Brandon like Freddie was focused too and wrestled extremely hard all weekend,” said Alesch. “He let the semi match slip away some, but losing to the eventual champ is never anything to be ashamed off. He wrestled back hard to claim his first All-American honors as a freshman.”
The good news for Iowa Lakes is that all seven national qualifiers are freshman.
“We are excited as all seven of our qualifiers are freshman and we have great leadership coming back to build on,” said Alesch. ” As a team we could have had a better first day but all the guys gained valuable experiences and as long as they build off of that starting today they will surpass their successes of this season.”