NJCAA wrestling: Cannon captures seventh at national championships
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Lamont Cannon's dream of a national wrestling championship was thwarted on Saturday, but the sophomore 141-pounder from Minnesota West Community and Technical College still had something to crow about from the NJCAA Wrestl...
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Lamont Cannon’s dream of a national wrestling championship was thwarted on Saturday, but the sophomore 141-pounder from Minnesota West Community and Technical College still had something to crow about from the NJCAA Wrestling Championships in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Cannon, after a difficult sophomore campaign partially spent recuperating from an early-season injury that resulted in one chipped tooth and another one pushed into his gums, placed seventh Saturday in the national tourney. After having placed seventh nationally as a freshman, Saturday’s result makes him a two-time All-American.
Cannon, a Michigan native, won four out of five matches on Friday, and in his first match on Saturday he lost 3-2 (on riding time) to Christian Kanzler of Lincoln. That sent him into the seventh-place match against Curtis Burnett of Northeast Oklahoma.
Burnett led Cannon 10-8 with 50 seconds remaining in the match, but Cannon worked a six-point throw to take the lead, then added two more back points before time elapsed.
“He wasn’t real happy that he got beat. Because he’s a competitor,” his coach, Bob Purcell, said about the first match on Saturday. “But he had a big smile on his face when he realized he was a two-time All-American.”
For Purcell, it’s the third time in 20 years he’s coached a two-time All-American.
It has been a tough 2016-17 season for Cannon, who experienced only five weeks of wrestling prior to the nationals due to the injury. He hoped he was ready to win a national title over the weekend, but Purcell said the time lost to injury couldn’t be completely overcome.
During the tournament, Cannon’s legs stiffened on him.
“We thought he was rounding into shape. But he wasn’t rounding into national tournament shape,” Purcell said.
Even so, Cannon flashed his moxie in the final match.
“He went out a winner,” Purcell said.