Swisher finds redemption with first title; McCormick wins 2nd time
Not this time.
Not in his last chance at winning state gold was Fallon senior Jack Swisher going to be denied.
The three-sport varsity letter winner avenged last year’s loss in the state championship by winning his first, Saturday, at Spanish Spring High School. Swisher, wrestling at 160 pounds, captured the title after holding off Lowry’s Quint Bell for an 8-7 victory at the Class 3A state wrestling tournament.
“I had a big chip on my shoulder,” Swisher said. “I worked really hard this offseason and this season. I put in the work. My mindset was not to be nervous this time.”
Swisher saved his best for his last season wearing a Greenwave singlet.
He placed in several tournaments, including the Sierra Nevada Classic, and took second in last week’s regional tournament after forfeiting the title bout due to a shoulder injury. Forgoing the regional bout against Bell paid off as both wrestlers faced off for the first time after meeting on several occasions last year.
“We have a lot of respect for the Bell kid,” Fallon coach Trevor de Braga said. “He’s a great wrestler. We tried to avoid him a little all year. We didn’t want to have two kids meet up and know each other’s styles so well. I’m glad it worked out and Jack came out on top. He’s determined.”
Swisher, one of two state champions for Fallon, had one of the toughest matches of the medal round.
Swisher fell behind in the second period when Bell escaped within 8 seconds of the start. With both dueling for position, Swisher came out on top with 39 seconds left with a takedown before Bell reversed for a 3-2 lead. Swisher, though, tied the match with an escape, setting up the third period.
Swisher’s early escape would give him the lead he would not relinquish. A takedown spotted Swisher a three-point lead (6-3) and another takedown gave him an 8-4 advantage. Bell battled but Swisher wouldn’t be denied, hanging on for the 8-7 win.
“I wanted to go out on top in my senior year. I wrestled my heart out,” Swisher said.
Fallon’s other champion found more motivation to win his second title.
Sophomore Sean McCormick watched as his younger brother, Tommy, fell short in the 113 championship.
“It definitely was some motivation,” Sean McCormick said. “I definitely didn’t want to end up like him but I was definitely happy how he wrestled. He worked his butt off.”
The last two minutes of McCormick’s 145 division bout against Spring Creek’s Anthony Chavez were grueling as McCormick began the last period on top. He wouldn’t let go, preserving the 3-0 victory.
“That’s a tough kid. He was a state champion a couple years ago,” de Braga said of Chavez. “He’s tough. He knows how to wrestle. There was a lot on the line. Every kid’s going to wrestle tougher.”
For McCormick, the goal was simple on Saturday.
“It was a lot harder wrestling him that second time,” he said. “He knows what I’m going to do. It’s a lot harder to score those points. It is definitely a lot harder than wrestling that first time. I was happy how it turned out. I just wanted to score as many points as I can and wrestle clean, sound and not get in bad situations.”
McCormick will have two more years before graduation and completing the rare four-peat as the state champion. He can’t wait because his brother will be by his side during that time.
“It’s going to be amazing,” he said. “Each week having him there is always great. Hopefully, the next three years he can be on top, too.”