LAS VEGAS – North Dakota State sophomore wrestler Josh Rodriguez claimed a national championship in Greco-Roman and added a fifth-place finish in freestyle at the 2014 FILA Junior Nationals held in Las Vegas on April 17-18.
Rodriguez sat out the 2013-14 season as a redshirt for the Bison after wrestling as a true freshman in the 2012-13 season. Competitors in the Junior division must be under 20 years old.
The Guadalupe, Calif., native posted a perfect 4-0 record in the 60-kilogram (132 pounds) weight class for Greco-Roman. Rodriguez opened with technical falls in the first round and quarterfinals and registered a pin of Cameron Perry in the semifinal. He earned a 5-2 decision over Victor Trujillo in the championship match.
Rodriguez placed fifth and earned junior All-American status in the 60-kilogram freestyle division, going 4-2 for the tournament. He dropped a 6-0 decision to University of Illinois wrestler Zane Richards in the semifinals before bouncing back to secure fifth place.
NDSU had several other wrestlers compete at the FILA Junior Nationals. Bison freshman Tommy Petersen placed third in the 96-kg (212 pounds) Greco-Roman division. Fargo native Tommy Walton was fifth in Greco-Roman juniors at the 60-kg (132 pounds) weight class. Freshman Mitch Friedman finished seventh in Greco-Roman and eighth in freestyle at 63 kg (139 pounds).
Two Bison also placed in the U.S. Open senior division for Greco-Roman. Tyler Lehmann took seventh place at 98 kg (216 pounds), and Matt Gray finished eighth at 75 kg (165 pounds).
U.S. Open Senior Greco-Roman – results
Tyler Lehmann, 7th, 98 kg
Matt Gray, 8th, 75 kg
FILA Junior Nationals Greco-Roman – results
Josh Rodriguez, 1st, 60 kg
Tommy Petersen, 3rd, 96 kg
Tommy Walton, 5th, 60 kg
Mitch Friedman, 7th, 63 kg
FILA Junior Nationals Freestyle – results
Josh Rodriguez, 5th, 60 kg
Mitch Friedman, 8th, 63 kg