Portage high school graduate Donell Washington made it big in the wrestling world, coming in as a red shirt freshman at Indiana University. Washington had an outstanding freshman year, placing second at the Michigan State University Open, fifth at the Greyhound Open and sixth at the Midlands championship, ending his freshman year 22-9 with a 66.67% win percentage and a bounce point percentage of 25.48%.
In addition to Washington having a great freshman year, he had an even better sophomore year. While wrestling the 174 weight , he had a progressive 2021 season with the Hoosiers. Washington beat the Number 5 seed Carter Starocci of Penn state 10-6 in a conference dual match and the Number 17 seed Drew Hughes of Michigan State 16-3, also in a conference dual. These victories led up to his breakout performance at the Big Ten dual competition with his thirteen takedowns on his four opponents placing him sixth at the Big Ten championship.
Washington lives by his motto, “Whenever you are in doubt, just trust the process.” This motto helped Washington take his talents to the international level by competing in the junior world championship in Russia at 79 kg (174 pounds). Even though he didn’t place, he says, ¨It was a great experience overall. I didn’t do as well as I thought I would, but it was nice to finally get my first experience on the international level. I can’t wait to get back and do it again.”
And with his upcoming junior season he says “my mindset going into this season is ´No matter the situation, the score, the time, just keep working towards out working the rest of the competition.´” With his motivation and dedication, Washington will be a wrestler to watch this season.
Caleb Asa is a reporter for NextGen Sports, a collaboration with The Recorder Media Group.