Coach Heffernan's freshman Steven Rodrigues won the 63KG/138.75 lbs weight class at the FILA Junior National Freestyle Championship on Saturday.
April 17, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - Illinois freshman Steven Rodrigues (Bedford, N.Y.), who redshirted last season and transferred from Rutgers University, won the 63 KG/138.75 lbs weight class at the FILA Junior National Freestyle Championship Saturday, defeating Jameson Oster of Wildcat Wrestling Club and Northwestern, 2-2, 1-1 in the championship match. The victory qualifies Rodrigues for the Junior World Team Trials on May 25-26 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"Rodrigues is a man on a mission and this past weekend was a big step for him in gaining confidence towards his ultimate goals," associate head coach Mark Perry said. "College wrestling is about the journey and any time you win a national title it gives you that much more confidence that you are doing the right things in your life. We are very proud of him and can't wait for the next step in his career."
Rodrigues defeated Zach Stepan of the Minnesota Storm in the first round, 3-2, 3-0 before earning another 0-1, 5-2, 6-0 decision over Jack Clark of Raw 241. He followed that win with a 1-1 6-0 victory over Taylor Moeder of HRWA. Rodrigues then took down Oster in the title bout for his first FILA Junior National championship and a berth to the Junior World Team Trials.
The winner of each weight class at the Junior World Team Trials will become a member of the United States team that will compete at the Junior World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, September 4-9.