Marion hits mats at state wrestling

Charlie Nordquist wrestles fourth-ranked Tucker Branum of Colby in the Class 3-2-1A state championship quarterfinals at 220 pounds. Nordquist lost an 8-5 decision and went 2-2 in his state outing. Karrie Rathbone/Free PressTwo wrestlers represented Marion at the Class 3-2-1A state wrestling tournament in Hays Friday and Saturday.

“I would say that our state outing as a whole didn’t go very well,” coach Tyler McMichael said. “We made changes to our game plans that did not help us out, and we didn’t pull the trigger when there were opportunities to score points.” 

Senior Charlie Nordquist went 2-2 at 220 pounds.

Nordquist opened competition with a win by fall over Tra Barrientes of Sylvan-Lucas, then lost an 8-5 decision to fourth-ranked Tucker Branum of Colby in the quarterfinals. That pitted Nordquist against Dillon Dunn of WaKeeney in the consolation bracket. Nordquist won by sudden victory in overtime, 7-5. Nordquist lost by fall to fifth-ranked Dane Whalen of Osage City, coming one match short of a top-six finish.

“Charlie has progressed well from his sophomore year, which was my first year at Marion,” McMichael said.

Sophomore Todd Palic went 1-2 at 182 pounds. Palic won by forfeit over Nathaniel Howerton of Doniphan West, then lost a pair of decisions to conclude his state outing, including a 13-6 loss to top-ranked Tyson Villalpando of Minneapolis, and a 3-1 decision to Brell Spiess of Smith Center.

“I think that Todd got his feet wet,” McMichael said. “He didn’t wrestle to the best of his ability, and I think that is because of the big stage of the state tournament. Now that he has his experience there, I don’t think that it will be a problem in the future.”

Sophomore Forest Slater was unable to compete because of health reasons.

Reflecting on the season, McMichael said:

“I think the season went as well as it could have with the small number of guys that we had. This year, I feel that our time of peaking was just a little bit off. Coach Palic and I will reflect on this and see what different things we need to do for next year.”

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