Seven of the 14 wrestlers Marion sent to the Class 3-2-1A regional tournament at Fredonia Friday and Saturday qualified for the state tournament by turning in top-four performances.
?We?ve been working really hard,? coach Chad Adkins said. ?It?s paying off for the kids. We don?t have to coach effort, which is awesome. It allows us to focus on getting better.?
Kyle Palic was Marion?s top performer, winning the 220-pound weight class with a 4-0 record in the tournament. He claimed the championship title with an 8-4 decision over Zachery Strother of Douglass, the sixth-ranked wrestler in Class 3A.
?We?ve beat that kid three times this year already,? Adkins said. ?But that?s sometimes even harder. We pinned him the last time we wrestled him, but if you wrestle somebody so many times, they kind of figure out at least a few things to defend.?
Palic won his three previous matches by fall en-route to the championship.
?He wrestled hard, which is what we need to be doing right now,? Adkins said. ?He was really chasing points and trying to score.?
Jarrett Johnson placed second in the 113-pound weight class with a 2-1 record on the mat. After a first-round bye, Johnson won two matches by fall to advance to the championship, where he lost a 7-0 decision to Fredonia?s Gavin Burgess, the second-ranked wrestler in Class 3A.
?(Burgess is) really, really good,? Adkins said. ?He?s beat us a couple times. We wrestled him probably better than we have. (Jarrett) wrestled a really, really good tournament.?
Four Warriors placed third: Max Gerlach, Bryce Shults, Remington Putter and Adam Janzen.
?Out of all those kids that we had in the blood round, we had all but one of them end up getting third as well, so they didn?t let down,? Adkins said. ?They just kept wrestling hard and came out to win that last match.?
At 106 pounds, Gerlach went 2-1 on the mat. After a first-round bye, Gerlach lost a semifinal match by major decision, 9-0, before winning a consolation semifinal match by fall. Gerlach won a 7-2 decision over Jayhawk Linn?s Jonathan Bownes to take third place.
At 132 pounds, Shults went 4-1, winning his first match by fall and earning a 9-6 decision before losing a 9-2 decision in the semifinals. Shults won his next two matches by fall, including defeating Rusty Inkelaar of Douglass in the consolation championship.
At 160 pounds, Putter also went 4-1, winning twice by fall before losing a major decision, 15-2, to the eventual champion in the semifinals.
Putter then won by fall and won a 6-0 decision over Anthony/Harper-Chaparral?s Parker Patterson to finish third.
At 182 pounds, Janzen went 4-1, winning twice by fall before losing a 5-4 decision to the eventual champion in the semifinals. Janzen picked up two more wins by fall, including a win over Anthony/Harper-Chaparral?s Jacob Jenkins, to place third.
At 120 pounds, Cody Shipman went 3-2 to place fourth. He won matches by fall and 9-5 decision before losing by fall to the fifth-ranked wrestler in Class 3A in the semifinals. Shipman won a 9-4 decision, then lost by fall in the consolation semifinals.
For seven additional Warriors, the season ended at Fredonia.
Noah Albin went 2-2 on the mat at 126 pounds, just one win from qualifying for state. Albin?s only losses were to Jayhawk Linn?s Kevin Herbstritt.
Albin lost a 12-3 major decision to Herbstritt to start the tournament, but worked his way through the consolation bracket, first with a bye, then winning a 13-7 decision. Albin won by fall, which pitted him against Herbstritt a second time. This time, Albin lost by fall in the consolation semifinals.
Corbin Wheeler went 2-2 at 145 pounds, just one win from qualifying for state. Wheeler advanced in the championship bracket with two wins by fall. In the semifinals, Wheeler lost a 3-2 decision.
He then lost a 3-2 decision to Cherryvale?s Alex VanRooy in the consolation semifinals.
Tyler Palic went 2-2 at 195 pounds, winning his first match by fall, then losing by fall in the quarterfinals. Palic picked up a win by fall before losing by fall to Troy Miller of Fredonia.
Garrett Hoffner went 1-2 at 152 pounds. After losing his first match by fall, Hoffner won by fall before dropping an 8-1 decision.
Zach Dvorak went 1-2 at 170 pounds, first losing an 8-2 decision before gaining a win by fall. Dvorak?s tournament run ended with a loss by fall.
Jarrett McLinden went 1-2 at 285 pounds, opening with a loss by fall before winning by fall. He then lost by fall to conclude the tournament.
Wesley Dicks went 0-2 at 138 pounds, losing twice by fall.
As a team, Marion finished in a tie for second place with Burlington with 152 points among a 22-team field. Fredonia won the tournament with 159.
Coming?The first round of state tournament matches is scheduled to begin Friday at 10 a.m. in the Fort Hays State University arena.