RENO — Tommy McCormick made it into the second day of the Reno Tournament of Champions for the first time in his career, finishing fifth at one of the toughest high school tournaments in the nation.
The senior grappler, wrestling in the 182-pound division, won his first match but then dropped a close bout to enter the consolation bracket where he strung together six consecutive wins. Needing a win in the consolation semifinals to wrestle in the third-place bout, McCormick got caught at the end and was pinned. A win would have put him in contention for All-American status but the three-sport star finished fifth overall Saturday night at the Reno Events Center.
“Even though I was hoping to be in the top three and be an All-American, I was pretty happy,” McCormick said. “I feel good where I’m at and I’m wrestling well. The team just has to do our best in practice and get better.”
McCormick said fatigue got the best of him in the consolation semifinal loss. Fallon coach Trevor De Braga said McCormick hadn’t wrestled much after getting a late start with football season ending right before the Thanksgiving holiday. Nevertheless, the fifth-year coach was pleased with McCormick’s performance.
“We had big expectations for Tommy and he rose to the challenge of getting on the podium,” de Braga said. “We knew it would be tough because he only had about 45 seconds of mat time prior to the TOC this year. He’s always been close to placing but never has so he was on a mission. He had a very tough bracket. Conditioning was a factor but I was impressed with some big wins going the full 6 minutes.”
In addition to McCormick, Lucas Prinz (113 pounds) won twice and Xavier Capton (152) also won a match while the rest of the team came out winless. Capton had never wrestled until this season and Prinz is a sophomore.
“That’s phenomenal for him,” de Braga said of Capton. “He’s never wrestled before and to win a match is huge for him. Lucas stepped up and ended up winning 2 matches this weekend and I believe he’s really figuring it out what it takes if he wants to be a state champion.”
De Braga said the tournament was a good learning experience for his group as it heads to Idaho this weekend before returning to the Silver State next weekend for the Sierra Nevada Classic. Also wrestling at the RTOC were Cody Shelton (145), Isiah Diaz (132), Jeramiah Prinz (106), Joshua White (160), Steven Moon (138) and Wyatt Hatch (138).
“With such a young team, I knew we wouldn’t win too many matches at the TOC,” de Braga said. “But the whole purpose of bringing the boys to the tournament was to give them a taste of what great competition is, and how much we have to step up our game. If you want to be the best, tournaments like the TOC are the ones we need to place at. I feel it was positive for my team and will help us step up our intensity in the wrestling room.”