J'Den Cox's journey: Mizzou

3 years 5 months 1 week ago Thursday, August 04 2016 Aug 4, 2016 Thursday, August 04, 2016 9:54:00 PM CDT August 04, 2016 in Sports
By: Mark Kim, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - When Hickman wrestler J'Den Cox committed to compete at his hometown school of Missouri, his future coach Brian Smith couldn't help but be excited. 

"He just has that attribute that when he steps on the mat, that something special is going to happen," Smith said. 

After watching Cox prepare for his freshman season, Smith let Cox compete his first year.

"When we saw him competing with Dom Bradleys and other people in our room, we were like 'this kid's already really good, let's put him out there and let him win the national title," Smith said. 

In his first year of collegiate wrestling, Cox went 38-2 and defeated number one ranked Nick Heflin to win his first national championship. He is the youngest national champion in Missouri wrestling history.

"He's worked as hard as anybody to just keep getting better every day, keep getting better, keep working hard," said Missouri wrestling P.A. announcer Darren Hellwege. 

But Cox's sophomore year on the mat didn't go as well. Cox finished 5th in the NCAA tournament in his second collegiate wrestling season. 

Smith said he thinks Cox put a lot more pressure on himself as a sophomore.

"When he was a junior, when he had come off that loss, he was like 'I'm going to enjoy this. I'm going to do things right, enjoy my team.' He just went out there and was taking it to people and enjoyed it more," Smith said.

Cox said, "I think every season I've taken something I've learned, something from each season and I've carried it and hopefully passed it on."

He won his second NCAA championship in his junior year while losing only one match. He defeated top- ranked Morgan McIntosh in the NCAA final in the process.

Cox's junior year gave him the confidence to compete in the Olympic Trials, and he said he's having more fun on the mat than ever. 

"It's my passion that carries me through each match and through each year. This is something I want to do," Cox said.

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Two people have been arrested and charged in connection with the 2017 death of Benjamin Renick. ... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 12:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - Another week in January, and another winter storm. This time around it will likely all happen in one... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 11:08:00 AM CST January 17, 2020 in Weather
COLUMBIA - With colder temperatures expected to arrive in mid-Missouri, shelters are preparing to care for those in need. ... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 6:27:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One Missouri lawmaker's bill could create new curriculum for schools in the state. House Bill 2153, sponsored... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 5:21:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he plans to fight efforts to expand the number... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 4:06:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
NEW FRANKLIN — In a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon, New Franklin police chief Mike Wise announced plans to step down.... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 2:14:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE - The announcement of Pinnacle Regional Hospital's closing came suddenly this week, even catching residents off guard who expected... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 1:57:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House violated federal law in withholding security assistance to Ukraine, an action at the... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 12:35:15 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON DC - The United States Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, 89-10, on Wednesday morning, and Senators Josh Hawley... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 11:32:00 AM CST January 16, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is preparing for a possible winter storm forecast for Friday, Jan. 17, per a... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 11:02:00 AM CST January 16, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- State senators heard testimony on a bill Thursday morning that could give law enforcement a leg up in... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:52:00 AM CST January 16, 2020 in News
MILTON, FL - Katie Prestesater, a native of Columbia, was recognized as the Naval Air Station Whiting Field Senior Civilian... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:09:00 AM CST January 16, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A total of $6 million is available for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout the state,... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 9:45:00 AM CST January 16, 2020 in News
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE - A B-2 Stealth Bomber, supported by Team Whiteman’s maintenance Airmen and a ground crew of... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 8:43:00 AM CST January 16, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A man has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for robbing a St.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 8:06:00 AM CST January 16, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Holiday Inn Expo Center will be bustling with diversity leaders and community members Thursday morning for the... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 4:30:00 AM CST January 16, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Faith Mejia's children know to drop to the ground whenever they hear gunshots. In 2019 alone, three homicides... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, January 15 2020 Jan 15, 2020 Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:15:00 PM CST January 15, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri Democrats disagreed with parts of Governor Parson's State of the State Address this afternoon. Democrats held... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, January 15 2020 Jan 15, 2020 Wednesday, January 15, 2020 8:09:00 PM CST January 15, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
2pm 30°
3pm 31°
4pm 32°
5pm 33°