With two of five athletes claiming top tier spots and the team placing 10th of 75, the Warriors made a strong showing Saturday at 321 state wrestling tournaments in Hays.
“This small but mighty team did awesome,” coach Tyler McMichael said. “With five wrestlers we placed 10th and beat everyone from our regional but one. It was an awesome team effort to end a great season.”
Scoring 47.5 team points to Silver Lake’s 50.5, Marion barely missed ninth place.
Tyler Palic, a junior, placed second at 195 pounds, pinning his first opponent in 59 seconds, defeating a second wrestler 10-6, and a third 4-3 in a nail-biting victory that allowed him to advance to finals where he battled hard, but was pinned with seconds left on the clock.
“Tyler had an excellent day on Friday,” McMichael said. “He won two very close calls, and one in the last 25 seconds of the match. In the finals, he came out and was down, after a while he realized that he was in the match and brought it within reach. However, his opponent was tough and caught Tyler on one of his takedowns.”
Senior Jarrett Johnson placed fourth at 132 pounds blowing out his first opponent 13-0, but he was caught in a pinning combo during his second match.
“He lost to the eventual state champion and battled all the way through the backside,” McMichael said.
During “two incredible matches,” Johnson pinned one opponent and overcame another 6-4 before being defeated 3-1 in the match for third place, McMichael said.
Going 2-2, sophomore Charlie Nordquist was one win away from placing at state.
“He had some very close calls but just couldn’t finish,” McMichael said. “He wrestled well and still has two more years. I look forward to seeing him grow and improve.”
Facing difficult brackets, seniors Bryce Shults and Noah Albin finished their high school wrestling careers going 1-2 at state.
“Bryce had an amazing season and ran into a tough bracket at state that was hard for anyone to make it out of; I am proud of him,” McMichael said. “Noah wrestled tough but some injuries and missing some competitions hurt us this year. He did all that he could and just ran into tough matches that could’ve went either way.”