Palic 3-2-1A state champ, Janzen takes 4th
In a grand sigh of relief, the Warriors did it. They achieved a milestone not only for USD 408, but also for themselves.
With Kyle Palic as this year’s state champion and Adam Janzen placing fourth, Marion wrestlers wrote a new chapter in Marion High School’s history as the team took sixth place with 59 total points Saturday at the 3-2-1A State tournament in Hays.
Last year, Marion placed 12th. This year, coaches Chad Adkins and Andy Hansen were excited with the Warriors’ move up the ladder.
“It was our best team-finish ever,” Adkins said. “The guys all just worked really hard. We had good combination of senior leadership and a strong crop of young wrestlers.”
Seniors Palic and Janzen also finished their high school wrestling careers in grand style going 4-0 and 4-2 against the best wrestlers in the 220-pound and 182-poind weight classes.
The seniors each improved from last year when Palic was state runner-up and Janzen placed sixth.
“I am beyond proud of Kyle,” Adkins said. “He has worked very hard and he will always be our program’s first state champion.”
Palic’s season record was 49-2 and his career record was 109-20. Janzen’s season record was 41-7 and his career record was 109-26.
“Adam is now a two-time state placer,” Adkins said. “He wrestled the best tournament of his career and beat some really good kids. Adam has had a huge impact on our program and I’m very proud of him.”
Though not all of the wrestlers came back with an individual medal, Adkins was proud of the whole team.
Remington Putter and Jarrett Johnson each went 2-2. Both were one win away from bringing home a medal.
Putter logged a 33-16 record in the 160-pound weight class, and Johnson, a 113-pounder, went 32-11 for the season.
Adkins said both wrestlers performed well at state and he is excited to see what each will do next year.
Bryce Shults and Max Gerlach each went 1-2 at the tournament. Shults finished the year with a 30-15 record at 132 pounds.
“We had some tough draws with Bryce, but he wrestled tough,” Adkins said. “Max wrestled very well and we were blessed to have him on the team.”
At 106 pounds, Gerlach was Marion’s first foreign exchange student to wrestle at the state level. He finished with a 31-14 season record.
“Max wrestled Greco-Roman style in Germany,” Hansen said. “It was a big adjustment and quite an achievement for him to make the transition to folk-style wrestling and make it as far as he did this season.”
Cody Shipman went 0-2 and finished the season with an 11-7 record at 120 pounds.
Hansen said Shipman had previous wrestling experience but did not get to prepare the way he needed to compete at the state level, because he began wrestling this season about a month ago.
“There’s such a cast of characters on our team,” Hansen said. “It’s great to watch them channel their energy out there on the mat.”