The Marion wrestling team competed at the Chase County Invite Saturday, where the Warriors turned in two first-place performances to help propel the team to a third-place finish among 15 teams.
Jarrett Johnson (33-6) went 3-0 to win the 132-pound weight class. After a first-round bye, Johnson pinned all three of his opponents: Chase County’s Ryan Kohr, Wellsville’s Anthony Signs and Easton-Pleasant Ridge’s Luke Oatney in the championship.
Bryce Shults (32-5) also placed first with a 3-0 record at 138 pounds. After a first-round bye, Shults won by technical fall, 16-1, over Highland-Doniphan West’s James Enloe. Shults pinned Wamego’s Adler Pierson in the semifinals, then won the championship by technical fall, 17-2, over Chase County’s Chase Owen.
Two Warriors placed second: Ethan Darnall (21-17) and Tyler Palic (29-6).
Darnall went 2-1 at 120 pounds. After a first-round bye, he pinned Chase County’s Seth Brittain and Mulvane’s Cole McEachern. Darnall lost by fall to Council Grove’s Holden Butler in the finals. Butler is undefeated and ranks second in Class 3-2-1A.
Palic went 1-1 at 220 pounds. After a pair of byes, Palic pinned Chase County’s Joseph Stout in the semifinals. He lost by fall to Mulvane’s Layne Becker in the finals.
“I was pleased with how well our four placers did,” coach Tyler McMichael said. “They picked up a lot of slack during the day to help us get our third-place finish. Bryce and Jarrett had another dominating weekend to get first place.
“In bumping Tyler up to 220 so he could have some better matches, he ran into a kid that was very strong, and he just got caught on his knees. He wasn’t wrestling bad at all.
“Ethan wrestled really well to get to the finals before running into a highly-ranked kid. Ethan wrestled hard but was outmatched. I was still very happy with his performance.”
Brock Mitchell (14-21) went 1-2 on the mat at 145 pounds. Kolton Brewer (13-21) went 1-2 at 160 pounds. Jarrett McLinden (24-16) went 0-2 at 285 pounds. Calib Mallory (1-2) wrestled unattached at 132 pounds. He went 1-2 on the mat.
As a team, Marion finished third with 97 points behind Mulvane (167) and El Dorado (1261⁄2) and ahead of Chase County (93), Wellsville (80), Herington (79), Highland-Doniphan West (79), Wamego (751⁄2), Richmond Central Heights (73), Council Grove (651⁄2), Mission Valley (621⁄2), Easton-Pleasant Ridge (57), Oskaloosa (25), Burlingame (3) and Onaga (0).
Coming—Marion will wrestle at the Class 3-2-1A regional tournament hosted by Jayhawk Linn Friday and Saturday.
Teams in attendance in addition to the Warriors and the host school are Burden-Central, Caney Valley, Canton-Galva, Cherokee-Southeast, Cherryvale, Chase County, Dexter, Douglass, Erie, Eureka, Fredonia, Hillsboro, Howard-West Elk, Humboldt, Leon-Bluestem, Longton-Elk Valley, Pleasanton, Richmond-Central Heights, Rosalia-Flinthills, Uniontown, Wellsville, Remington and Wichita Independent.
The top four placers in each weight class qualify for state.
“I do believe that we have several wrestlers who are exactly where they need to be for regionals this weekend,” McMichael said. “I am confident that we can get a good number to the state tournament.”