"I was feeling really good going into the tournament," Nebraska-Kearney junior wrestler Sam Turner said.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division II national title contender and his teammates, never got the chance to step on the mat.
"It was a little bit heartbreaking, there were a lot of sad faces in the room," Turner said.
Just hours away from contending for the championship at 149 lbs., the tournament was canceled.
"It seemed like it was coming to fruition there towards the end and to lose that in the very last second was pretty devastating," Turner said.
It has been a long road for the Discovery Canyon graduate. One that started at the University of Wyoming where he was a two-time NCAA Division I qualifier before deciding to transfer.
"This was my chance to conclude my story of redemption," Turner said.
While his decision to leave the Cowboys program was "heartbreaking", it turned out to be a great decision as Turner was named a Division II All-American this year with a 9-1 record.
"I was just very grateful and honored," Turner said.
It took some time but the philosophy major has come to terms with the frustration of not being able to finish what he started. At least not this season.
"That definitely is a little bit of silver lining that I get to come back and give it one more shot next year," Turner said.
A little extra motivation for what the grappler believes will be a highly successful senior season.
"That is the big thing, how we deal with it, how we re-group is really what is going to define this period for wrestlers," Turner said.