WINNEMUCCA — Tommy McCormick wanted to kick off the Greenwave party in strong fashion.
And he didn’t disappoint.
The youngest of the McCormick children, the junior grappler won his second state championship, starting a string of three consecutive titles for the Greenwave at the NIAA State Championships on Saturday at the Winnemucca Events Center.
“I was staying focused mentally and making sure I was ready to go,” McCormick said about his approach to the final match of his junior season. “I was confident that I should win it. As long as I wrestled my best and didn’t do something stupid, I knew I was going to win it.”
McCormick (152 pounds) opened the tournament with a convincing win, a 16-1 tech fall over Mojave’s Treyton Keller, and followed with a quick, 36-second pin over Fernley’s Jackson Chapin in the semifinal on Friday. McCormick’s 17-4 major decision victory over Boulder City’s Ladd Cox cemented his second consecutive title with one year remaining.
“All year, he’s worked on his feet,” Fallon coach Trevor de Braga said. “Not that he had a downfall but that was his weak spot. That’s what put him over the top. It’s very impressive.”
His title kick-started a string of championships with his brother, Sean, winning his fourth and then teammate Ben Dooley winning the heavyweight title.
“It’s amazing we have three of the best wrestlers in the state and we competed well,” Tommy McCormick said. “We all did our job. Even though we got fourth place (as a team), we did the best we could do.”
Not to be lost in the success of his brother and Dooley, McCormick was impressive throughout the season. Although he fell a match shy of competing for All-American status, McCormick finished second in the Sierra Nevada Classic and placed – and won – several California and Idaho tournaments.
But to be a state champion, again, is a gratifying feeling.
“It feels pretty much just as good,” he said. “The first one was pretty amazing. It’s another state championship and that’s a great feeling. It was tougher to win my first because you feel more pressure to win your first one. You feel more relaxed and you’ve been there before; just to do it again.”