Feb. 11, 2013
- by Grace Duggan, Media Relations Intern
For 12 years, Mike and Jennifer McCormick have followed their three sons around the United States as they watched each of them become successful as a Missouri Tiger. Chris, Tyler and Nathan McCormick all chose the 4th floor of the Hearnes Center to be their home away from home to pursue a collegiate wrestling career.
The Missouri wrestling team is like a family and the McCormick family has been a part of it for more than a decade. Mike and Jennifer McCormick have supported their three sons in every aspect of their careers. These two have been to every single one of their sons' matches. Every single dual, every single tournament, no questions asked. From Las Vegas to Madison Square Garden to the three-day NCAA National Championships Tournament across the country, they have been front and center at every win, every loss and everything in between.
Nathan knew from a very young age that wrestling was "his" sport. He began when he was four after watching his two older brothers wrestle. "I always wanted to do whatever they did, so I started wrestling and it gave me something to wear me out a little bit," said McCormick.
During high school, Nathan excelled on the mat earning two Kansas 6A State Championships during his junior and senior year, each at a different weight class. The choice was clear where Nathan would wrestle for his collegiate career.
"I grew up with the Missouri wrestling team. So, this is where I always wanted to be."
Now the last of the McCormick brothers is a senior and in his final duals as a Missouri Tiger. With the NCAA Nationals less than two months away, Nathan, the 5'1", 133-pound wrestler, has put together a strong senior season and looks to reach All-American status in Des Moines, Iowa.
Mizzou came into this season with a hunger to prove themselves to their new conference. The team began the season coming off their first-ever Big 12 Conference Championship, which qualified 10 wrestlers to compete in the NCAA Wrestling Nationals. Nathan and fellow senior Dom Bradley were named co-captains and have led the Tigers through their ways on and off the mats.
"I just try and lead by example and try and show the guys the right things to do. That is what I have always tried to do while I was here."
After Missouri's conference realignment, Nathan and the rest of the Tigers have embraced their new roles in the Mid-American Conference. "I think we are accepting and we embrace the change and take over the MAC," said McCormick. The change of conference has not affected the Nathan or the Tigers. In fact, Nathan is currently ranked No. 4 in the 133-pound weight class with a strong 26-2 record. These Tigers may be facing new foes, but that has not changed their successes.
Consistent with his previous two seasons, Nathan looks to Des Moines, Iowa and the NCAA National Wrestling Championships to reach the coveted All-American platform. Nathan has qualified for Nationals the previous two years, but was unable to finish in the top eight. This year is different. Nathan has done everything in his power to become a better wrestler in all phases of the sport.
"I have really put in a lot of time and effort, even more this year, and made a lot of sacrifices and living my life right. I have been doing the right things and making the right choices and just feel good about it."
As his time on the 4th floor of the Hearnes Center comes to a close, Nathan continues to stay focused on his goal. When the time comes for Des Moines, every Missouri Tiger wrestling fan can count on two things: Nathan will do his best to reach that All-American achievement, and Mike and Jennifer McCormick will be in the stands watching and cheering on their son.