The HCAC Athlete of the Year award is in its seventh year of existence, and Cornell is the first Mount athlete, male or female, to earn this prestigious honor.

Mount St. Joseph News

CARMEL, Indiana - Mount St. Joseph University's dual sport star Cornell Beachem Jr. has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's (HCAC) 2019-20 Male Athlete of the Year, announced by the league on Tuesday (June 9th) afternoon. 

Cornell started of his year as a member of the Mount's football team, where he starred at both receiver and running back for coach Tyler Hopperton's Lions. He finished the season with 1704 total yards, good for third most in the HCAC. He led the Lions in both rushing (95-for-648) and receiving (53-for-837). He was third in the HCAC with 110 total points,  tying for the top spot in the league with 10 touchdown catches while adding seven rushing touchdowns. For his performance Beachem was named a first-team All-HCAC selection. 

Despite his dominance on the football field, he saved his best performance for the wrestling mat, where he starred at 174 lbs for coach Charles Mason. A late arrival to the team due to his football commitments, Cornell saw his name fly up the national rankings on a weekly basis. By the end of the season he had posted a 21-0 record, surrendering only three takedowns the entire season. After securing the championship at the prestigious Pete Willson Invitational, he claimed the No. 1 spot in the national rankings. He would go on to secure the NCAA Division III Central Regional Championship, taking down the returning national champion at 174 lbs in the championship match. 

For his accomplishments, Beachem was named the No. 1 seed at the NCAA DIII National Wrestling Championships at 174 lbs., and was poised to become the first athlete in the history of Mount St. Joseph University to earn the title of National Champion in any sport. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic his wrestling season was cut short just prior to getting the NCAA Championships underway. Due to his outstanding body of work for the season, he was still named a first-team All-America selection by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). 

The HCAC Athlete of the Year award is in its seventh year of existence, and Cornell is the first Mount athlete, male or female, to earn this prestigious honor. The award is voted on by the 10 sports information directors representing each of the league's institutions. 

CATEGORIES: Athletics