In a banner calendar year for UB Athletics where several teams and individuals made history on and off the field, freshman wrestler Nate Rose added another new first to the Athletics record book. Yesterday he was the first Bull to ever compete in the World Wrestling Championships, held this year in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The World Championships are held at rotating locations, and feature the top competition from around the world. Freestyle, Greco-Roman, and Women's events are held throughout the event and are an excellent showcase for international talent while serving as a primer for the Olympic Games.
For those unaware, Nate Rose is a current freshman on the wrestling team at UB, joining the squad after a successful prep career at the Eagle Academy in the Bronx. Rose was the first ever grappler from the PSAL to win back-to-back New York State Championships, where he collected titles in the 195 pound weight class. Rose is also the pride of his native Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean island nation just off of the coast of Venezuela. Rose competes for his homeland in international competitions and saw his first international action at the Pan-American Championships in Santiago, Chile this past summer, where he placed 5th.
Rose entered the World Championships as one of 37 grapplers from around the globe in the Men's 97kg Freestyle bracket. In his first match of the tournament in the qualification round he was pitted against Aurelio Valdez Chairez of Mexico. Rose was able to step onto the mat and dominate his opponent from start to finish, earning a 10-0 victory by technical superiority (or technical fall, whichever you prefer to call it, really).
Rose showed off his upper-body strength with his lateral quickness and agility to get into his opponents legs several times and take him down to the mat with ease. Rose made sure the match was short and sweet, wasting no time attacking his opponent from the first whistle, and earning the 10-0 advantage in under 2 minutes of action on the mat.
Check out his first match here:
Then, after his qualification round victory, Rose moved on to face Ibrahim Bolukbasi of Turkey. Bolukbasi is a former Olympian for they Turkish national team, competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in the 84 kg weight class. Rose was in for a tough test from the start, facing an opponent who had competed at the highest level that a wrestler can reach, but Rose held his own in the 12-50loss. After falling behind 8-0 early, Rose rallied back and held his own for several minutes working for position and trying to get an angle to take the former Olympian down to the mat. However, Rose was caught and was slammed to the mat for a 4 point takedown to give Bolukbasi the victory.
Check out the full match:
It may not seem like much, but a 1-1 record at the World Championships is a tremendous accomplishment for the youngster Rose. He won a match in the largest showcase of international wrestling talent in the world outside of the Olympic Games, and he held his own for the most part against a former Olympian who is several years his senior.
Rose did an astounding job as the lone representative from his native Trinidad and Tobago, and as the years progress and he becomes more experienced on the mat he will begin contending for medals at international events, including the World Championships, where he will likely be again next year. Rose was able to defeat one grappler who was much older than he, and held his own against a former Olympian also several years older than him as well. Rose has shown maturity on the mat beyond his years, and given that he hasn't been wrestling for an extremely long amount of time makes this fact all the more impressive. Finally, the international experience will be invaluable once it comes time to hit the mats for UB once again this November, and I expect him to start at 197 pounds for the Bulls