Marion High School wrestlers Brody Carroll and Colten Johnson top the list of six Warriors who qualified Saturday for the state tournament with their regional tournament achievements at Eureka.
Carroll, ranked second in the state among Class 3-2-1A 138-pounders, showed why he is deserving of the ranking by pinning his championship opponent in the first round of their finals matchup.
“He was the wrestler of the tournament in my mind,” Marion head coach Chad Adkins said. “Brody is very focused and wrestled a flawless regional tournament.”
Colten Johnson was behind in the waning moments of the 160-pound championship but surprised his opponent with a backward thrust that sent them both toppling to the mat. Johnson gained control while laying on his back on top of his opponent, scoring in the final seconds for the win.
“He beat the #2 ranked wrestler in the state. Colten had his best tournament of the year,” Adkins said.
Four other Marion wrestlers placed in the top three to earn state berths as well.
Beretta Janzen, second at 106 pounds, and Kyle Palic, third at 170 pounds, qualified as freshmen, which is often a greater challenge for young wrestlers, Adkins said.
“Beretta wrestled very well. Kyle wrestled very aggressively and is showing people how good he is for a freshman,” Adkins said. “It is a great accomplishment to qualify as a freshman.”
Consistency is what earned Eric Regnier a trip to state with a third-place finish at 120 pounds.
“We saw Eric wrestle consistently which is what he was missing. Eric had a great tournament,” Adkins said.
Evan Slater punched his ticket to the state tournament with a third-place finish at 220 pounds, and Adkins expressed optimism about Slater’s potential.
“Evan is capable of placing very high at the state tournament. He just has to wrestle his match and take advantage of his athletic ability.”
Brayden Putter, Zac Dvorak, Zac Lewman, and Nathan Cyr competed and did not qualify for state, but Adkins was upbeat about their progress during the season and their performance at regionals.
“If you can’t tell, I am very proud of all of our kids,” Adkins said. “They have worked really hard and it has been a pleasure to work with all of them. They make my job really easy.”
The Warriors wrestled without Cole Lewman, who suffered a season-ending injury in a dual match at Remington, but Adkins emphasized Lewman’s importance to the Warriors’ success.
“Cole has been a great leader for us and he has had a lasting impact on our program,” Adkins said.
The Class 3-2-1A state tournament starts Thursday in Hays. The tournament continues Friday, beginning with consolation matches, and ending with the championship bracket finals.