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Rodriguez wins national title

Triton 174-pounder is golden; Iowa Central takes 3rd as a team

Photo by Paul DeCoursey: Iowa Central’s Jose Rodriguez won the 174-pound national championship in Council Bluffs on Thursday.

COUNCIL BLUFFS — Jose Rodriguez secured a national title and the Iowa Central wrestling team left here Thursday night with five medals in all.

Rodriguez captured the 174-pound championship, while teammates Bret Minor, Keaton Geerts and Jorden Pryor finished second for the Tritons.

Iowa Central was third overall in the final team standings.

Clackamas jumped past Western Wyoming for gold, as Iowa Central finished as the top ICCAC program. Iowa Central has now finished in the Top-3 twelve times under Luke Moffitt and placed in the Top-8 each of the past 17 seasons.

Rodriguez finished off his second appearance at nationals with his fourth fall of the meet, pinning Mason Christiansen of Western Wyoming at 6:17. A returning All-American who placed sixth in 2018, dominated the match, picking up six takedowns and several near-fall points.

In the first three rounds, Rodriguez scored falls before earning a major decision in the semifinals. He is the 10th finalist at this weight all-time for the Tritons, who also crowned a champion in 2012 in Jahwon Akui.

Minor had an impressive tournament run, knocking off the top-ranked and defending national champion in the quarterfinals before topping No. 5 Creighton Baughman of Iowa Western in the semis. He went 4-1 overall during the event to become the seventh finalist at 141 pounds since 2000 for Iowa Central.

Tsermaa is a native of Mongolia who was the 2020 senior level Mongolian national champion. He also earned silver in 2018, was fifth at the Asian Games in 2018 and won bronze at the U23 Asian Championship in 2019.

Geerts dropped a 13-6 decision to defending national runner-up Christian Minto of North Iowa Area at 165 pounds. The transfer from the University of Northern Iowa went 4-1 during his run to the finals, joining the likes of Travis Willers, Bradley Banks and Colby Covington as finalist at the weight.

This was the second consecutive year that the weight class featured an all-ICCAC final.

Pryor suffered a tough 3-1 loss in sudden-victory to Mitchell Williamson of Iowa Lakes at heavyweight. The two exchanged escapes through the first three periods, with Williamson getting the winning takedown.

Pryor was trying to become the second consecutive Triton to win at heavyweight after Boone McDermott claimed the crown last year. He was the 13th finalist from Iowa Central to reach the championship match.

Aidan Harris finished his tournament by placing fourth, going 6-2 including six consecutive wins.

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