Posted on

Former Comet Max Forsyth qualified for the NCAA DIII National Wrestling Championships, which (alas) didn’t happen

By John Burbridge

It took four years for Max Forsyth to finally get there.

Now, he’s hoping that somehow he can get a fifth year for a possible return.

“I was at a loss of words,” Forsyth said of when his senior wrestling season and career at Wartburg College came to a close due to the COVID-19 outbreak just in time to cancel the NCAA Division III National Championships set for March 13-14 at U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.

“I couldn’t believe that something like this could actually happen.”

No matter what Forsyth would have done at the championships — he qualified for the first time in his career and was the No. 3-ranked 165-pounder in the nation among DIII wrestlers — it would have capped an outstanding run, nonetheless.

Since graduating from Charles City High School where he posted more than 100 varsity wrestling wins, was a three-time Northeast Iowa Conference champion, and twice qualified for the State Wrestling Championships where he placed fourth his senior year, Forsyth continued to enjoy a trajectory of success as a Knight.

After compiling a combined 48-18 record during his freshman through junior seasons at Wartburg, Forsyth posted a 29-4 record his senior season (77-22 overall). One of Forsyth’s wins this past season was against two-time national champion Lucas Jeske of Augsburg.

By way of a runner-up showing at the NCAA Lower Midwest Regional Championship held March 1 in Dubuque, Forsyth earned his National Championships berth.

Four other wrestlers from the No. 2-ranked Knights — Kris Rumph (133), Martine Sandoval (157), Kyle Briggs (174) and Jordon Briggs (HWT) — also made the cut.

“We put in a lot of work,” Forsyth said of the team’s overall effort — for much of the season the Knights were the No. 1-ranked team in DIII. “It just doesn’t seem fair.”

This spring, Forsyth was due to graduate from Wartburg where he studied business and marketing.

Though the end of season left plenty of unfinished business for Forsyth and his teammates, as of last week Forsyth had a smidgen of optimism in regards to another shot to wrestle at nationals.

“Maybe they’ll let the seniors come back for another season, especially the ones who qualified for nationals,” Forsyth said. “That’s what we’re hoping for, but that’s for the NCAA to decide.”

Though it may not end like he wanted it to, Forsyth is grateful for his student-athlete experience at Wartburg.

“They have a great tradition here,” he said. “The coaches have always been very positive.

“My sisters went here [Mara Forsyth is the all-time career home-run leader for Wartburg’s softball team], and they helped make me feel at home.”