BLACKSBURG, VA(WFXR) — This weekend the NCAA wrestling championships will take place in Detroit… with Virginia Tech sending eight grapplers — who are in pursuit of a national championship. At 285 pounds, Nathan Traxler is making the most of his only season in Blacksburg.

“It’s a whole new experience, you know different coast, completely different team. It’s my last season so it feels really great to come out on top,” said Virginia Tech senior wrestler Nathan Traxler. Traxler has been a conference champion before — but this year marked his first time making the top of the podium in the heavyweight division… and in the ACC. “I got a takedown early, with my go-to attack and I figured if I can get one takedown, I’d get more so I just kinda went and kept going and kept scoring as much as I could and got a pretty good lead and it worked out,” said Traxler.

The Stanford graduate transfer earned a nine to six decision in the ACC Final to win the 285 pound title, cementing his decision to use his final year of eligibility with Virginia Tech. “It’s been nothing but smooth sailing ever since I got here. Couldn’t thank the coaches and my teammates enough for how well the welcome came and it’s been a really great year,” said Traxler.

The Illinois native now headed to his fifth NCAA championships, hoping to make the podium for the first time ever, Traxler earning the number ten seed in Detroit. “I’m just focused on making the most of the moment and just wrestling how I know how to wrestle and just savoring the moment and being excited,” said Traxler. Traxler will face Virginia’s Quinn Miller in the first round on Thursday morning.