Warriors first at Halstead Invite

Ezra Darnall wrestles Herington?s Theron Miller at 126 pounds. Darnall won by fall and went on to place fourth in the Halstead Invitational tournament. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press
Ezra Darnall wrestles Herington?s Theron Miller at 126 pounds. Darnall won by fall and went on to place fourth in the Halstead Invitational tournament. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press
The Marion wrestling team placed first among a field of 23 teams at the Halstead Invitational Friday and Saturday.

Nine Warriors placed in the top four in their respective weight classes, giving Marion 201 points for the tournament ahead of Fredonia (185), and Douglass and Lyons in a tie for third (151).

?We wrestled a very complete tournament at Halstead,? coach Chad Adkins said. ?This is the most team points that we have ever scored.

?We continue to get better technically, and we are keeping our strength and endurance. Our upperclassmen are leading by example and pushing for our whole room to get better.?

Marion?s two seniors, Adam Janzen and Kyle Palic, set the bar high with first-place finishes in their respective weight classes.

Janzen (20-2) placed first at 182 pounds and was named outstanding wrestler of the tournament in what Adkins described as ?the best tournament of his career.? Janzen defeated Cherryvale?s Kaden Housel, the fifth-ranked wrestler in Class 3A, in the championship match.

Palic (17-2) won the 220-pound weight class with a victory over Zachary Strother of Douglass.

Five Warriors placed second: Jarrett Johnson (16-4) at 113 pounds; Bryce Shults (16-6) at 132; Corbin Wheeler (13-8) at 145; Remington Putter (15-6) at 160; and Tyler Palic (12-8) at 195.

Adkins praised the efforts of Wheeler and Tyler Palic for advancing to the finals as freshmen.

Max Gerlach (14-5) placed third at 106 pounds, while Ezra Darnall (9-5) placed fourth at 126.

Additional wrestlers included AJ Cogdill (120 pounds), Noah Albin (138), Garrett Hoffner (152) and Jarret McLinden (285).

?We won the tournament because of all of these guys,? Adkins said. ?Our young kids are progressing quickly. We are showing great progression and we are beating kids easily that we were close with before Christmas. I am looking forward to the rest of the season.?

Coming?Marion will compete in the Eureka tournament Saturday. Matches are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.