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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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A&M Judo to host NCJA Southwest Regional

Isabella+Garriga+holding+the+Female+Athlete+of+the+Year+Award+and+an+NCJA+medal.+On+June+27th+through+July+2nd%2C+Garriga+will+be+competing+at+the+World+University+Games+in+Chengdu%2C+China.
Photo courtesy of Javier Garriga

Isabella Garriga holding the Female Athlete of the Year Award and an NCJA medal. On June 27th through July 2nd, Garriga will be competing at the World University Games in Chengdu, China.

Texas A&M Judo is hosting the National Collegiate Judo Association Southwest Regional on March 4 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Physical Education Activity Program building on West Campus.
The event is an open bracket tournament. Anyone who is signed with a national judo association is able to show up and compete; registration closes March 3. Green belt and below can compete in the novice and elite divisions, while brown belt and higher can only compete in the Elite division. USA Judo, USJA, USJF, ATJA, USA Judo membership is available at registration, according to AggieJudo.com.
Judo coach Bob Perez said around 30 people are currently registered for the Saturday event.
“We expect around maybe 40 to 50 people to compete on Saturday,” Perez said.
The Southwest region includes Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico, according to AggieJudo.com. Perez estimated most of the competition will be from within Texas, but noted many competitors may not have an associated club.
“We aren’t expecting any competitors from Oklahoma,” said Perez. “We have one competitor from Louisiana so far.”
A&M Judo has support from A&M Rec Sports, while most university judo programs in the Southwest region have no support or funding from their university, Perez said.
As a result, A&M Judo is able to offer five scholarships to top competitors. Biomedical sciences senior Isabella Garriga is the top female competitor at A&M and was ranked first in the nation for under 21 Judo, Perez said. Other scholarship competitors include Blinn Team freshman Steven Salazar, economics senior Michael Mutz, management information systems junior Dario Maaskant and applied mathematics freshman Paolo Maaskant.
“We expect all of our players on scholarship to win their respective divisions,” Perez said. “Their main focus in this competition is to try out new things [and] get out of their comfort zone a little while doing their best.”
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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