SPRINGFIELD — Rochelle wrestler Caleb Nadig’s focus this season has been on competing and not worrying about the results. Nadig’s mental approach helped him secure a fourth-place medal from the IWCOA 2A State Championships at the BMO Harris Bank Center this past week.
Nadig (26-5) opened the tournament with a resounding victory against Prairie Ridge’s Jack Stone, scoring seven takedowns and three near falls in a 22-5 technical fall. Nadig advanced to the quarterfinals, where he fell in a 6-1 decision against unbeaten Bethalto (Civic Memorial) wrestler Caleb Tyus (31-0), who went on to finish first in the 138-pound bracket.
“I’m happy with my results because I thought I improved from last season,” Nadig said. “I thought the state meet was a great learning experience and I enjoyed the competitiveness of the tournament. I enjoyed having the chance to test how much I’ve improved.”
Nadig surged through the consolation bracket, beginning his fourth-place run with four near falls and two takedowns in a 17-0 technical fall over Mundelein (Carmel)’s Christian Holmes. In the consolation quarterfinals, Nadig held off Lemont’s Evan Schiffman, scoring two takedowns and one escape for a 5-0 decision. Nadig faced off against Rock Island’s Aoci Bernard in the consolation semifinals, recording a pivotal overtime takedown to win by 5-3 sudden victory.
“I did a good job this season of not worrying about the results and just competing,” Nadig said. “There are definitely technical things I want to improve on and I want to add as many moves to my arsenal as I can. My goal for next season is to win the state tournament and to do that, I need to continue pushing myself out of my comfort zone and get better every day.”
Nadig battled Burbank (St. Laurence)’s Mike Rodriguez in the consolation finals, losing by 7-1 decision to finish the state tournament in fourth place. Nadig, who earned Interstate 8 All-Conference First Team honors for his junior season, helped lead the Hubs to a 21-8 record.