The Panthers fell from having five competitors in New York City to just four. Unfortunately UNI’s senior heavyweight Blaize Cabell has an undisclosed illness that kept him from traveling with the squad to New York for the NCAA Championships.
“It’s painful,” said head coach Doug Schwab in a release from UNI. “If you deal with it and have a fighting chance at nationals, it makes you feel a little better. You work your whole life for this opportunity.”
Cabell was UNI’s only conference champion, and the only senior scheduled to go to the NCAA tournament. He finished his junior season with the eighth most wins all-time for a Panther in a single season. He was undefeated in MAC competition this season, capping off his year with the MAC Championship.
“I want people to remember how he competed and what he did for this program,” said Schwab. “He made it fun at heavyweight. I am so proud of him and how he has grown, not just as a wrestler, but as a man. We want to keep him competing and around the program.”
“What’s also really hard is that you wish you could be with him,” said Schwab. “You hurt right along with him, but the decision is made. You have to keep perspective. There are things that are worse. It’s hard to see that right now though.”
Four other Panthers are scheduled to wrestle at the NCAA tournament starting tomorrow; #9 Dylan Peters at 125, #15 Josh Alber at 133, Bryce Steiert at 157, and Cooper Moore at 165.