Colorado Mesa's No. 4 wrestler Payton Tawater will be hitting the mat for the Battle at Browson with the rest of his team on Friday, but it wasn't too long ago Tawater was watching from the bench.
The sophomore suffered a knee injury in the regional tournament last season which stopped him from competing in nationals as a freshman. About 10 months later, Tawater made his return to the mat back in early January against Simon Fraser and won by fall. So far the wins haven't stopped for him.
"It's been a long journey honestly," said Tawater. "Through the whole rehab process, it was just nothing but motivation for me to be the best wrestler I possibly can. You only get a certain amount of years that you can do what you love. It's something I'm really passionate about and hopefully it can translate into a national title here eventually."
Tawater is 4-0 since his return.