Kinner ends Rider career as All-American

By Logan K. VanDine

With Rider’s wrestling season now in the books, history was made by Quinn Kinner during the NCAA Tournament, which took place in Kansas City from March 21 to 23. 

The senior became an All-American during his blood round of the tournament which always occur on Friday night’s during the tournament to become Rider’s 20th All-American and the ninth Bronc in the last 10 seasons to accomplish such a feat.

‘I kept the faith’

“It was a wild year that was full of ups and downs. It definitely was not the year I had planned going in,” said Kinner. “I was just disappointed at times but shout out to the people around me. My coaches, teammates, family, God and I kind of just stayed steadfast knowing that … something like this was going to come around as long as I kept the faith and kept the hope.”

When Kinner’s bout that clinched him the All-American title was over, he talked about all the emotions that not just he was going through, but his coaches, teammates and family.

“That 30 minutes after winning the blood round were emotions that I will never forget. It’s a mixture of the craziest adrenaline rush of your entire life: pure joy, pure thankfulness, pure disbelief,” Kinner said. “That was the greatest feeling I’ve ever felt.”

Head Coach John Hangey, who finished his seventh season, said he could not be more proud of Kinner.

“It wasn’t a perfect season by any stretch,” said Hangey. “There were ups and downs, and he dealt with them, but when you have to deal with adversity like what Quinn had to deal with, it prepares you for moments like he had.” 

‘I got hot’

According to Kinner, finishing the regular season on a high note after a slow start was a big factor in why he was able to get this prestigious honor.

“Right at the right time of the year when I needed to, I got hot and a lot of that cumulates to the coaches knowing what they’re doing,” said Kinner. “They know how to prepare people for the NCAA tournament, they know how to get you ready, give you confidence and help you practice a lot harder.”

Kinner also mentioned, however, that some of his goals remain unmet by his time as a Bronc.

“I can say this with full confidence, I dreamt of an NCAA title and when I came to Rider … Even though I fell short of that goal, becoming All-American is something that I’m still incredibly proud of,” said Kinner, who finished in eighth place at the NCAA tournament.

‘I feel her presence’

During Kinner’s All-American-clinching season, he also met adversity when he lost his niece Winnie Prescott in November, which was something that motivated him at the NCAA tournament and throughout the whole season as well.

“I cannot say this enough: I genuinely feel her presence. We write her name down on my tape and I feel calmer, I feel I have peace, I feel like I have extra strength to fight with and I feel like she’s walking that entire story with me,” an emotional Kinner said. “I’ve learned how to deal with grief right at the beginning of the year, because when she died I used that as motivation. After I lost in the first round, she was right there with me and I can hear her telling me, ‘Quinn you can do this.”’

Kinner also had the guidance and the encouragement of his coaches.

“I cannot express enough how much these coaches have changed my life,” Kinner said. “Coach Hangey is like my second dad, and Bedelyon and [Ryan] Wolfe are my older brothers. that’s how close I feel to them.”

Hangey also echoed what Kinner said about their relationship.

“Having a father-son and mentor relationship really does make a difference when they’re out fighting for themselves because they reach deeper inside, and that’s my job,” Hangey said. “So I think it’s really important that we try to connect with our kids in that way, because they deserve the success like what Quinn got.”

With Kinner’s collegiate wrestling career at Rider now finished, he wants this to be his legacy as a Rider Bronc.

“I would hope I would leave a legacy as a teammate and captain who loved the people around him, a teammate and captain who loved this university, a teammate and captain who loved his peers and his teammates, a teammate and captain who loved and respected his coaches and a teammate and captain that loved and respected wrestling and all it had to offer,” said Kinner.

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