In one day, Darrell Mason beat heartbreak, made a friend and became a champion

The two wrestlers knelt on the mat facing each other, the winner of a national championship and the guy who lost. The tops of their heads touched as they placed their arms on the other’s shoulders.

They stayed in that position for 25 seconds. They were praying together. Then they stood up, embraced in a tight hug and took turns raising each other’s arm to signal the winner.

It was a cool display of sportsmanship. The backstory to that wonderful moment Saturday at the Division II national championships provided a lesson about character and humanity.

Minnesota State Mankato heavyweight Darrell Mason won the championship on the same day that his beloved grandma Bessie died. He received the news an hour before weigh-ins. Continue reading at startribune.com →