Best in the state: Palic wins Marion?s first state title

Kyle Palic wrestles Wyatt Eitel of Scott Community at 220 pounds during the first round of the Class 3-2-1A state tournament in Hays Friday. Palic won by fall and went a perfect 4-0 in the tournament to win the championship title, becoming Marion?s first state wrestling champion in school history. Free Press photos by Janae Rempel

Seven Warrior wrestlers represented Marion at the Class 3-2-1A state tournament in Hays Friday and Saturday.

By the end of the tournament, Marion boasted one state champion and one fourth-place finisher. In all, six Warriors won at least one match at state.

Marion?s two senior qualifiers led the way.

As the top-ranked wrestler in Class 3A at 220 pounds, senior Kyle Palic avenged last year?s championship loss by winning all four matches and bringing home the gold medal as Marion?s first state wrestling champion.

?I am beyond proud of Kyle,??coach Chad Adkins said. ?He has worked very hard. Kyle will always be our program?s first state champion.?

Palic won his first two matches by fall over Scott Community?s Wyatt Eitel and Hesston?s Juan Guzman. In the semifinals, Palic won a 3-2 decision over Cimarron?s AJ Cooper, the state?s second-ranked wrestler, pitting him against the fourth-ranked wrestler, Luke Jacobs of Phillipsburg, in the finals. Palic defeated Jacobs by fall in the first period to claim the state title.

Palic concluded the season with a record of 49-2. In his career at Marion, Palic earned 109 wins and 20 losses.

 Adam Janzen wrestles Devon Mick of Plainville at 182 pounds during the first round of the state tournament Friday. Janzen won by fall, and went on to place fourth in the tournament with a 4-2 record, earning his second consecutive state medal. Free Press Photo by Janae Rempel

As the fifth-ranked wrestler at 182 pounds, senior Adam Janzen improved upon last year?s sixth-place finish by placing fourth with a 4-2 record.

Janzen faced three state-ranked opponents, winning his first match by fall over Devon Mick of Plainville, then losing a 9-4 decision to the top-ranked wrestler and eventual champion, Isaac Luellen of Rossville.

In the consolation bracket, Janzen won by fall over Austin McHenry of Hoisington, then won a 12-10 decision over Chance Schooler of Central Heights. Janzen won by fall over Kody Collins of Doniphan West, the state?s sixth-ranked wrestler, to advance to the consolation championship, where he lost a 5-2 decision to Gavin Lively of Norton Community, the second-ranked wrestler.

?Adam wrestled the best tournament of his career and beat some really good kids,? Adkins said. ?Adam has had a huge impact on our program, and I?am very proud of him. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for him.?

Janzen finished the season with an overall record of 41-7. In his career at Marion, Janzen recorded 109 wins and 26 losses.

At 113 pounds, sophomore Jarrett Johnson went 2-2. After winning a 4-3 decision over Council Grove?s Justin Skerce, who ranked sixth, Johnson lost by major decision, 11-2, to Bryce Younger of Ellis, who ranked third in the state and went on to place second. Johnson won by fall over Colton Byram of Jayhawk Linn, but lost a 3-0 decision to Seth Harrell of Sabetha to conclude his tournament run.

Johnson concluded the season with an overall record of 32-11.

?I am very excited to see what the next two seasons hold for Jarrett,? Adkins said. ?He wrestled well this weekend.?

At 160 pounds, junior Remington Putter went 2-2. Putter won by major decision, 10-0, over Mitchell Vincent of Lyons. He then lost by major decision, 10-1, to Nick Reesor of Rossville, the top-ranked wrestler who went on to place second. Putter won a 4-3 decision over Jayson Failer of St. Marys before losing by 4-1 decision to Garret Dunlap of Doniphan West, who ranked sixth.

Putter concluded the season with a record of 33-16.

?Remington wrestled very well this weekend,??Adkins said. ?He was one win away from medaling. This was a huge step in the right direction for Remington. I am excited to watch his senior season next year.?

At 106 pounds, foreign exchange student Max Gerlach went 1-2, facing two state-ranked opponents. Gerlach won a 5-3 decision over Jacen Spragg of Halstead, then lost by technical fall to Ryan Johnson of Norton Community, the top-ranked wrestler who went on to finish second in the tournament. Gerlach concluded his tournament appearance with a loss by fall to Holden Butler of Council Grove, the state?s sixth-ranked wrestler.

Gerlach finished the season with a 31-14 record.

?Max wrestled very well,??Adkins said. ?We were blessed to have him on our team this year.?

At 132 pounds, sophomore Bryce Shults went 1-2. Both losses were to state-ranked opponents. Shults won a 4-3 decision over David Koralek III of Ellsworth, then lost by fall to Hoxie?s Tristan Porsch, the top-ranked wrestler and eventual state champion. Shults? tournament run ended with a loss by fall to Taylor Wilmarth of Wellsville, who ranks fifth in the state.

?Bryce wrestled very well this weekend,? Adkins said. ?We had some tough draws, and he wrestled tough. Winning a match was a step in the right direction for him. I am excited to see what the next two seasons have for Bryce.?

Shults concluded the season with a record of 30-15.

At 120 pounds, junior Cody Shipman went 0-2, concluding the season at 11-7. He lost a first-round major decision, 16-2, to Dalton Duiltmeier of Silver Lake, the third-ranked wrestler who went on to finish second overall. Shipman then dropped a 6-5 decision to Dalton Goans of Lyons.

?Cody just didn?t prepare this year like he needed to,??Adkins said. ?He didn?t get to start wrestling until about a month ago. We were glad to have him on our team.?

As a team, Marion placed sixth among the 67 schools represented at the state tournament with 59 points, recording the best team finish in school history. Norton Community finished first with 1181?2 points, followed by Hoisington (1041?2), Rossville (99), Silver Lake (86) and Scott Community (78).

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