February 2, 2001

Tragedy Hits Home

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Much of the goings on in the athletic world this week have been overshadowed by the tragic accident in which two Oklahoma State University basketball players were among the 10 men killed in a plane crash after playing Colorado.

And for good reason.

Tragedies like this plane crash remind us of what is truly important in this world, and how fragile life really is.

However, while I would expect your heart to go out to the Oklahoma State community, I ask that you try not to forget the life lost on this campus late last semester.

Graham Morin was a promising young wrestler, who lost his life to a rare condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy on November 25 of last year.

Described as a great student by head coach Rob Koll, Morin was one of the top wrestling prospects in the country as a three time Washington State champion and two time All-American.

With the loss of a valued team member, the wrestling team could have folded and given up for the season.

But it has not.

Instead the team took second in the New York State Collegiate Championships, and knocked off Virginia over winter break.

And then there was last weekend.

In a match between the two titans of the Ivy League, the Red faced Pennsylvania in front of a fired up crowd in Newman Arena.

Despite an abnormal amount of injuries, and a relatively young squad, Cornell hung tough with the visitors. And when senior Jim Stanec scored a 9-5 victory over Josh Henson at 174-pounds, the Red had a lead it would not relinquish.

By Koll’s standards, all of his wrestlers were inspired against the Quakers.

One possible reason: Daniel Morin.

The father of the fallen wrestler traveled to East Hill to see what is probably the biggest match of the year in the Ivy League.

Indeed, Koll wonders if perhaps his men have worked harder and been more focused in an effort to avoid constantly thinking about the young man from Washington whose brilliant future was cut short.

One thing is clear, the members of the Oklahoma State basketball team would do well to emulate what the Cornell grapplers have done:

To remember those who have touched you, and to push forward knowing that they would support you.

Archived article by J.V. Anderton