Marion wrestlers earn three medals at state

Marion’s Tyler Palic grapples with top-ranked and undefeated Josh Seabolt from Cimarron during the championship match at 195 pounds. Seabolt won by a 5-4 decision.
Marion’s Tyler Palic grapples with top-ranked and undefeated Josh Seabolt from Cimarron during the championship match at 195 pounds. Seabolt won by a 5-4 decision.
Marion’s four state wrestling qualifiers brought home three medals from the 2018 Class 3-2-1A championships at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays Friday and Saturday.

Senior Tyler Palic concluded his high school career as repeat state runner-up at 195 pounds.

Entering the tournament ranked third in Class 3A, Palic pinned his first three opponents: Chance Korinek of Minneapolis in the first round, fifth-ranked Hayden Wiltfong of Norton in the quarterfinals and Nick Davenport of Ell-Saline, who went on to finish third in the tournament.

Davenport entered the tournament ranked second in 3A. Palic and Davenport were not unfamiliar opponents, as Palic lost an 8-5 decision to Davenport in the championship match at Hoising­ton in late January.

This time around, Palic, who had defeated Davenport by 10-6 decision in the state quarterfinals a year ago, came out ready to go, handing Davenport his only loss of the season.

“(Tyler’s) attitude made a lot of difference in the match,” coach Tyler McMichael said. “He went out there like he actually wanted to win and was just going for that state title, and I don’t think Davenport was really ready for that. He caught him off-guard a little bit.”

Having pinned his way to the finals, Palic faced a re-match with top-ranked and undefeated Josh Seabolt from Cimarron. The pair had faced off in the championship at Norton in early January, with Seabolt earning a 5-3 decision. Seabolt won the 182-pound weight class a year ago.

In the end, Seabolt won this year’s title by 5-4 decision.

“It was very close,” McMichael said. “With about a minute left, it was 3-1. Seabolt was up, and then Tyler got an escape and then Seabolt took him down to make it 5-2. Tyler got a reversal with about 2 seconds left and made it 5-4.”

Palic concluded the season with a record of 25-5. McMichael spoke well of Palic’s tournament showing.

“He did really well,” McMichael said. “On Friday night, he looked like a man on a mission. Unfortunately, Seabolt was ready to go when it came time to go to the finals, so made it a little bit tougher and just didn’t work out in our favor.”

Palic qualified for state three of his four years at Marion. He was state runner-up at 195 pounds as a junior a year ago. As a sophomore, Palic placed sixth at 195 pounds.

He concludes his Marion wrestling career with an overall record of 125-39.

Junior Charlie Nordquist, ranked sixth in Class 3A, earned a fourth-place medal at 220 pounds with a 3-2 record.
Junior Charlie Nordquist, ranked sixth in Class 3A, earned a fourth-place medal at 220 pounds with a 3-2 record.
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Junior Charlie Nordquist, ranked sixth in Class 3A, earned a fourth-place finish at 220 pounds with a 3-2 record.

Nordquist won his first match by sudden victory in overtime, 7-5, over Dillon Dunn of WaKeeney. He then pinned fifth-ranked Adrian Gerber of Chaparral in the quarterfinals, then lost a 7-2 decision to Goodland’s second-ranked Luis Ledesma in the semifinals.

“(Ledesma) had quite a bit of technique over Charlie,” McMichael said. “He was just a little bit better on his feet, and that made a lot of the difference.”

Nordquist faced Dunn a second time in the consolation bracket, this time winning by fall to compete for third place.

“The first time, Dunn did a lot of stuff on top that was kind of our weakness, and that kept the match really close,” McMichael said. “But in this match, we expected it, and Charlie changed his style so that it would work out better.”

Nordquist lost a 1-0 decision in the third-place match to fourth-ranked Trayton Doyle of Saint Francis to conclude his state appearance. The only point came via an escape.

“In the closing seconds of the match, the kid that Charlie was wrestling had a stalling call, a warning,” McMichael said. “If he would’ve gotten one more, we would’ve gotten a point and (tied) it up, 1-1.”

Nordquist also made appearances at state as a sophomore in 2017, where he went 2-2 at 182 pounds, and as a freshman in 2016, when he went 0-2 at 182.

Nordquist concludes the season with a 33-5 record, having jumped from the 182-pound weight class to 220 this year.

“He was a very small 220,” McMichael said. “He weighed in Friday night at 195, so he was about 25 pounds under weight.”

Senior Jarret McLinden, ranked fourth in Class 3A, made his first state appearance and earned sixth place at 285 pounds with a 2-3 record plus a 33-12 season mark.
Senior Jarret McLinden, ranked fourth in Class 3A, made his first state appearance and earned sixth place at 285 pounds with a 2-3 record plus a 33-12 season mark.

Senior Jarret McLinden, ranked fourth in Class 3A, made his first state appearance and earned a sixth-place finish at 285 pounds with a 2-3 record to record a 33-12 season mark.

McLinden won his first-round match by 7-3 decision over Bryce Kisner of St. John’s Military. He then pinned Brian Shane of Royal Valley in the quarterfinals, before losing by fall to top-ranked Avery Hawkins of Smith Center in the semifinals.

“Hawkins was a very good wrestler,” McMichael said. “He moved very well for a heavyweight. He was one of your mid-sized heavyweights, maybe about 250.”

In the consolation bracket, McLinden lost by fall to sixth-ranked Jaden Eslinger of Chaparral to compete for fifth place. In his final match of the tournament, McLinden lost a 1-0 decision to Reyes Bustillos of Goodland.

The match point came via escape.

McLinden finishes his career at Marion with an overall record of 90-65.

“Just the last two years that I’ve been here, (Jarret) definitely started to move a lot better as a heavyweight because that’s very important,” McMichael said. “Being as big as you are, if you can move, have good footwork, then you’ll be better off in your matches.”

Junior Ethan Darnall also made his first state appearance, going 0-2 at 132 pounds. He lost by fall to Jaden Atwood of Smith Center and Aidan Baalman of Hoxie, finishing his season with a 19-17 record.

“He has made a lot of leaps and bounds, even from the beginning of this year to the end of this year,” McMichael said. “He started out being kind of a small, and that was rough at the beginning of the year. But he came into his own about halfway through and started figuring out he couldn’t just muscle around and he had to use more of his technique. His technique is great, so when he uses it, it works out a lot better.”