Moving up the ladder

Lakehead University Thunderwolves wrestler Marco Palermo of Thunder Bay won a third consecutive Canadian university men’s wrestling championship in the 61-kilogram division.

Marco Palermo tied a Lakehead University varsity sports record on Friday. Quietly, yet still etched in history.

The fourth-year wrestler was named the school’s co-male athlete of the year along with basketball’s Lock Lam. The win marks the third-straight year Palermo has won the award, tying him with graduated runner Kevin Tree, who recently set the record with three in a row from 2015 to 2017.

Alannah MacLean garnered the female athlete of the year award after winning three gold medals at the OUA cross-country skiing championships in February.

Lakehead announced the winners in a press release Friday in place of its annual presentation and banquet. The athletics department cancelled the event due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Still, the lack of a public celebration doesn’t take away from Palermo’s brilliant campaign. The Thunder Bay native won a third consecutive U SPORTS Canadian men’s wrestling championship in the 61-kilogram division. He also completed back-to-back conference titles victories in the same class.

Palermo has been a picture of consistency, said Thunderwolves wrestling head coach Francis Clayton. It’s a trait that has helped the business major continue to get better despite success on the university mats right off the bat.

“He doesn’t miss,” Clayton said in a phone interview on Sunday. “(Palermo) has improved significantly since Year 1 even though he won (a national title) in Year 1. We’ve worked on a lot of specific things. You just can’t keep your foot off the gas. You have to keep on looking at things. He has a mindset of saying, ‘Let’s do other things no one else is working on.’”

See the full story in the print and digital editions of The Chronicle-Journal.

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