Five Panthers crowned at Harold Nichols Open

FRANK WALSH, Sports Writer

Hilton Coliseum was taken over by highly competitive wrestlers on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Harold Nichols Open in Ames on the Iowa State University campus.

The UNI wrestling team came to compete, crowning five individual champions at the meet. Three of the Panther champions won the tournament in the freshman/sophomore division and the other two competed in the open division. The three Panthers that won in the freshman/sophomore division were Michael Blockhus at 141 pounds, Cayd Lara at 157 pounds and Tyrell Gordon at 197 pounds. The two champs to win the tournament at the open division were Taylor Lujan at 174 pounds and Drew Foster at 184 pounds.

Blockhus, a freshman, was able to pick up a major decision win against Damond Lockner from Iowa Central Community College and was very dominant throughout the tournament, pinning his opponent Carter Weeks of Iowa State in the semifinals in order to get to the final round. He ultimately finished as runner-up at 141 pounds. Cayd Lara, another freshman, fought hard to get a 12-11 decision to win the 157-pound competition against Anders Lantz from the University of Wisconsin. Lara was able to pick up back to back pins in order make it to the finals as well.

The last wrestler to win the tournament in the freshman/sophomore division was Tyrell Gordon.

“I was both excited and nervous for this tournament because it was my first college tournament,” said Gordon, a freshman from Waterloo.

Gordon was able to toss Hunter Henning of Moline, IL to his back for the pin in order to move on into the semifinal round. Gordon was eventually able to win the tournament against Hunter Dejong of Iowa State by a 2-0 decision.

In the open division, Taylor Lujan and Drew Foster were both able to get the job done and be crowned champions in their respective weight classes at 174 and 184 pounds.

“The weight cutting was hard but I felt well prepared and confident going into this tournament,” Foster said prior to the meet.

Foster’s hard work in the offseason paid off as he was able to cruise to victory in the 184-pound competition. In his first match, Foster picked up a technical against Cullin Brendeland of Iowa State. Foster capped off the tournament with a decisive 14-0 decision against Samuel Colbray, who competed as an unattached competitor. 

“I will continue to focus the little things in wrestling and they will make a big difference moving forward,” Foster said after sweeping through his weight class.

The Panther Train rolls on as they will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Grand View Open.