AMES, IA -- The Texas A&M Judo team won three medals at the NCJA National Collegiate Championships hosted at Iowa State University this past weekend.
155 competitors from 37 colleges and universities were represented.
Sophomore INTS major and newcomer to the Aggie Judo team Renee Meraz followed her state championship win with a national championship in the novice 52 kg (114 lb) division. All of Renee’s wins were ippons (instant wins, similar to a knockout in boxing).
Renee defeated athletes from the Univesity of Minnesota (MN) , Iowa State (IA), and UC Berkeley (CA)in her pool. Although Renee lost to eventual bronze medal winner from West Point on a technical disqualification, she won the head-to-head tiebreak against Iowa State to become the National Novice champion with a record of 3 -1.
Junior BICH major Ryan Wenzel’s first match went into over time and was decided by a referee’s decision. The decision went to Ryan over the athlete from West Point (NY).
Ryan won his semi-final match against another West Point (NY) athlete with an ippon (instant win) to move him into the final against the Air Force Academy (CO). Ryan lost his final match but won the silver medal and is the National runner up in the Novice 90 kg (198 lb) division with a record of 2 – 1.
Seinor PETE major Jeremy McCaslin is also the National runner up in the Novice 81 kg (178 lb) division. After a first round bye, Jeremy defeated two West Point (NY)cadets, one in the quarterfinals and another in the semifinals setting up a final against Iowa State (IA). Jeremy lost the gold medal match but finishes with silver and a 2 – 1 record.
Gabby Wolf –Gonzalez (Sophomore WFSC) also competed in the 78 kg (172 lb) division, but did not finish with a mdeal. It was Gabby’s first national competition.
In the standard championship division Texas A&M Judo had 3 competitors. Senior ISEN major Carlos Perez just missed fighting for a 90 kg bronze medal. Carlos fought his way to the semi finals defeating West Point (NY) and UC Berkeley (CA) competitors. He lost to the reigning 2011 NCJA from San Jose State (CA) to move him into the bronze medal match against West Point (NY). Carlos was in the lead early lost focus and was arm barred and forced to submit placing 5th.
Jeremy McCaslin (Senior PETE), After a first round bye Jeremy lost to Iowa State (IA) but defeated comeptitors from Scott Community College (IA) and West Point (NY). Jeremy lost to Century College (MN) placing him 5th.
Ryan Wenzel (Junior BICH) had a rougher time fight up in standard championship division going 0 – 2.
Texas A&M Judo won the 3rd place overall Men’s novice team trophy. The Aggies won 1 gold, 2 silvers, and 2 5th places.
The Aggies host the 2014 NCJA National Collegiate Championships in March 2014.
The Aggie Judo team is coached by Bob Perez and Dan Gomez. If you would like more information click on the link below.