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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M judo team wins NCJA Southwest regional, heads to nationals

JudoRecapAction.jpg
JudoRecapAction.jpg

Texas A&M Judo took first place across all divisions at the 2023 National Collegiate Judo Association Southwest regional on March 4 at the Physical Education Activity Program building.
Scholarship competitors for Aggie Judo all placed first in their respective senior division weight classes. Kinesiology freshman Steven Salazar placed first in the 66kg men’s competition; management information systems senior Dario Maaskant took first in the 81kg men’s competition; Dario’s brother, applied mathematical sciences freshman Paolo Maaskant took first in the 73kg men’s competition.
Currently recovering from a knee injury, Dario said he utilized this tournament to test his physical condition leading into nationals.
“I think this accounts for everyone who does sports right after injury,” Dario said. “You kind of have to keep a balance between going in hard and good enough to get a good grip on how far you are at the competition. Also because [I’m] recovering from injury it’s important for me to not overstress it.”
Biomedical sciences senior Isabella Garriga, the top female competitor at A&M, didn’t compete Saturday due to injury, coach Bob Perez said.
Like most competitors in the senior level, Salazar said he still saw room for improvement despite winning the event. Salazar is competing at the NCJA championship on April 1 where he will be competing in his home state of California against many of his friends who now go to San Jose state, a top contender to win both the men’s and women’s championships.
“It’s a different experience competing against them versus alongside them like I used to,” Salazar said. “There’s no bad blood between us. When I go home I still train with them. We’re still a part of the same home dojo, so we’re all still friends at the end of the day. Of course it’s still a competitive sport, I wanna win.”
In both the 90kg men’s novice and senior divisions, history senior Tyler McStravick took first place. Multidisciplinary engineering technology junior Ankit Shah took third and also placed second in the novice division.
“I came in with the thought that I was going to win,” McStravick said. “If you don’t have that mentally, if you can’t visualize your victory, you won’t win.”
For more information, visit AggieJudo.com or follow the team @AggieJudo on Instagram.
Kyle Wendel is a recreation, park and tourism sciences senior and contributed this article from the course JOUR 359, Reporting Sports, to The Battalion.

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