116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MOUNT VERNON — As a senior at Ankeny Centennial, Colin Honderd was unsure about his wrestling future.
Then he met Cornell Coach Brent Hamm, who sold him on the school’s block schedule and its wrestling program.
“I was on the edge about it most of my senior year,” Honderd said. “I took a leap of faith.”
Now a senior at Cornell, he has another decision to make. Will he take a fifth COVID season next year?
“It’s still up in the air,” he said. “I haven’t made a decision yet.”
One thing that isn’t up in the air is the success Honderd is having this season. He posted a 33-37 record his first three seasons, wrestling mostly at 165 pounds.
Now he’s up to 184 and thriving.
Honderd entered Cornell’s Mike Duroe Invitational on Saturday with a team-best 22 wins (in 29 matches) that included 17 pins. The school season pin record is 23, held by Justin Dix.
“I’m feeling great,” he said before taking the mat Saturday.
Not worrying about making weight has made a big difference.
“It’s nice to go to practice each day and focus on my wrestling,” he said. “Being able to focus on my wrestling has really helped me crispen things up.”
While he said the pin record wasn’t an “incredibly high” goal, pinning is his game. He did, after all, set the Centennial season pin record as a senior with 31.
“Every time,” Honderd, who now stands 57-46 in his Cornell career, said when asked how often he goes for a pin. “I always wrestle to pin. I wrestle the same match against every opponent.”
Now the focus turns to qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championships, March 11-12 in Cedar Rapids. The Lower Midwest Region Championships — a national qualifier that will include the likes of Coe and Wartburg — are Feb. 26 in Dubuque.
Honderd knows it will be a tough road and he has several things he’ll continue to work on. But, as he said, he’s feeling good — physically and mentally.
“I’m working on taking more shots in practice ... small, little things,” he said. “I’m confident if I can crispen some of those things up, I can make the national tournament.”
Winning the Cornell title is “definitely on the list of things I want to accomplish this year.” It didn’t happen Saturday, however. He finished fifth, going 2-2 in the tournament and placing fifth.
Augsburg won the team title with 186 points. Luther was second at 155. The host Rams (133 points) finished third.
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