Small College Sports

Cornell's Chris Lyons cherishes Senior Night win during up-and-down career

Back at heavyweight, Lyons is enjoying wrestling again

Chris Lyons, Cornell College wrestling
Chris Lyons, Cornell College wrestling

MOUNT VERNON — Chris Lyons’ wrestling career at Cornell College has had its ups and downs.

He has ridden a roller coaster of emotion and weight classes in his four years, starting as a 184-pound freshman before a solid season at heavyweight and cutting back down to 197 a year ago.

Lyons moved back to heavyweight and produced a fond memory in his final home match. He recorded one of four Cornell victories in a 25-15 loss to eighth-ranked Loras during Senior Night on Thursday at Small Multi-Sport Center.

“I gave everything I had,” said Lyons, who scored a third-period reversal and added a riding-time point for a 4-2 decision over Brody Tupy. “I knew it was one of my last duals. I wanted to get that victory.”

Lyons posed for pictures with his teammates, family and Cornell Coach Brent Hamm after the meet. He was happy, but that hasn’t always been the case in college.

He has struggled with injury, including a knee injury this season, and weight cutting at Cornell. Lyons avoided weight cutting as a sophomore, bulking up and gaining about 40 pounds. The Overland Park, Kan., native dropped down a weight as a junior to start at 197, going 10-14 after a winning season at heavyweight.

“It was an awful year,” Lyons said about last season. “I decided I didn’t want to cut weight anymore and I wanted to go back up to heavyweight. Just enjoy wrestling.”

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Lyons had wrestled behind All-American heavyweight Tyler Ortmann, who is now a first-year Rams assistant. After last season, he started working on gaining size and strength needed for 285.

“He worked his butt off in the weight room,” Hamm said. “He was in there five to six days a week. That was the plan. He went for it.”

Lyons improved to 12-5 this season with the victory. He surrendered the opening takedown and trailed 2-1 after two periods, riding Tupy the entire second. He used his quickness to his advantage for the decisive reversal.

His skills from being a lighter wrestler can give heavyweights fits at times.

“He has that speed and athleticism,” Hamm said. “He can wrestle on the mat.”

Lyons is ready to push through the final six weeks of the season. He wants to make the most of the short time that remains.

“I think it’s been pretty successful,” Lyons said. “It’s positive right now. I’m looking forward to regionals.”

Cornell (4-10) received a fall from Jake Wulf (141) and decisions from Austin Thomas at 149 and 184-pounder Bryce Oveson. Wulf trailed 5-3 when he hit Frankie Indelli with neck-wrench for a fall in 4:41.

Loras improved to 12-1 overall.

AT MOUNT VERNON

Loras 25, Cornell 15

(Individual takedowns in parentheses)

125 pounds – Jake Hiles (L) major dec. Keegan Schultschik, 9-1 (2,0); 133 – Zach Licht (L) pinned Brody Lamb, 3:37 (1,0); 141 – Jake Wulf (C) pinned Frankie Indelli, 4:41 (1,2); 149 – Austin Thomas (C) dec. Adam Valdez, 6-2 (2,0); 157 – Brandon Murray (L) tech. fall Casey Allen, 20-4 (7,0); 165 – Eddie Smith (L) dec. Ben Hewson, 3-2 (0,1); 174 – Sam Schuler (L) dec. Nic Jarvis, 3-1 SV1 (1,0); 184 – Bryce Oveson (C) dec. Javier Soto, 6-5 (3,0); 197 – Guy Patron Jr. major dec. Kendale McCoy, 15-4 (6,0); Hwt. – Chris Lyons (C) dec. Brody Tupy, 4-2 (0,1).

MEET STATISTICS

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Takedowns – Loras 20, Cornell 7. Reversals – Loras 1, Cornell 1. Escapes – Loras 12, Cornell 12. Nearfall points – Loras 8, Cornell 0. Penalty points (awarded) – Loras 2, Cornell 1. Riding-time points – Loras 4, Cornell 2. Total match points – Loras 31, Cornell 68. Official – Rick Stahl.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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