BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech wrestler Cody Hughes had never started in the 174 pound weight class for an entire season -- until this year.
“I didn’t have other years to be ready for that. I was thrown in and had to figure it out and try to persevere through it,” said Hughes.
That’s what he did. Wrestling his way to the ACC Championship for the first time, then sealing an automatic qualification to the National Championship.
“The ultimate goal was to become an All-American this year, do as well as I could at nationals this year. It couldn’t have happened without qualifying, so that was kind of building blocks, that was kind of the first block,” Hughes said.
But then nationals didn’t happen due to COVID-19.
“I think for me personally looking back, I didn’t get to necessarily accomplish what I wanted. But a lot of people haven’t necessarily gone through four years of wrestling in college. I guess I learned ... the best word I can say is perseverance,” said Hughes.
“I can really apply that to whatever comes next.”
Hughes, just weeks ago at the pinnacle of his wrestling career, has since had the opportunity to reflect and offer a little advice.
“Take it like it is your last one and compete like it is because you don’t know if you’re going to get that opportunity again. And really enjoy the opportunity while you can because you don’t know if you’re going to lose it or not,” said Hughes.