‘They were protected’: Wrestler from Cedar City, teammate recovering from grizzly bear attack in Wyoming

Northwest College wrestlers Brady Lowry (left) and Kendell Cummings are recovering from a grizzly bear attack near Cody, Wyoming on Oct. 15, 2022 | Photo taken in Billings, Montana on Oct. 17, 2022, courtesy of Dallas Lowry, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — A college wrestler from Cedar City is one of two teammates who were seriously injured after reportedly being mauled by a grizzly bear while hiking near Cody, Wyoming.

Northwest College wrestlers surround the hospital bed of teammate Kendell Cummings, who is recovering from a grizzly bear attack near Cody, Wyoming, on Oct. 15, 2022 | Photo taken in Billings, Montana on Oct. 17, 2022, courtesy of Dallas Lowry, St. George News / Cedar City News

Northwest College athletes Brady Lowry of Cedar City and Kendell Cummings of Evanston, Wyoming, were injured in the attack on Saturday afternoon but are expected to recover, authorities said.

“They’re alive and doing well, for what happened,” Northwest College Athletic Director Brian Erickson told online news outlet the Cowboy State Daily. “We’re praying for those kids and their families and the rest of the team and their coach.”

Lowry, a 149-pound redshirt sophomore at Northwest College, had a standout wrestling career at Cedar City’s Canyon View High School, where his father Dallas Lowry is the head coach. Brady Lowry won individual state titles in both 2017 and 2019.

Monday afternoon, Dallas Lowry spoke to Cedar City News by phone and said his son had just been discharged from the hospital in Billings, Montana.

Meanwhile, Cummings, 141-pound sophomore, is expected to remain at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings for a few more days.

Lowry called the ordeal an “incredible teamwork story.”

Brady Lowry and Cummings, along with two other wrestlers, reportedly had gone hiking and looking for antlers Saturday afternoon in the South Fork area about a half hour south of Cody when the incident occurred. Cody is about another half hour northeast of the Northwest College campus in Powell.

At some point, the group of four had separated into two pairs as the men were hiking down the mountain. 

Then, without warning, a grizzly reportedly attacked. The bear went after Lowry first, which prompted his friend and teammate Cummings to try to distract the animal by hitting it with his bare hands. Both men ended up sustaining serious injuries from being mauled and bitten by the bear.

Immediately following the attack, the men tried to summon help by calling 911 and having the other two hikers assist them in making their way down off the mountain, Dallas Lowry said.

“They were quite a ways up the mountain,” Lowry said. “It’s just a heroic story of just a wrestling family. You know, these kids are from three different states; they’re just risking their life for one another.”

“I think that’s a story in itself,” he added. “In athletics, you learn a lot and you have fun, but some of the friendships that you build, especially in high school and college, they last forever.”

Lowry said that while Cummings was taken via medical helicopter directly to the hospital in Billings, his son Brady was transported via ground ambulance first to a regional hospital in Cody. The following day, he was then taken via ground ambulance to Billings for further treatment.

“The whole team stuck together and they all drove up from Cody to the hospital,” Dallas Lowry said. “They sat on the hard hospital floors, you know, just running and getting them food or whatever they needed.”

Lowry said his son sustained puncture wounds and lacerations in his arms and the back of his legs. Meanwhile, Cummings sustained lacerations, puncture wounds and other injuries to both arms, his skull, scalp and cheek.

Still, Lowry said he believes divine intervention helped spare both athletes from even worse injuries.

“They were protected,” he said. “I mean, it was like Daniel in the lion’s den. There were angels looking after them.”

Lowry even slipped in a plug for the sport he’s coached for many years.

“This is why kids should wrestle,” he said. “For the relationships, and to be able to do hard things like walk off a mountain when you’re hurt.”

The Cowboy State Daily reported that the young men had each been carrying bear spray with them but had been unable to deploy it due to the sudden nature of the attack.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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