CHAMPAIGN – When Freeport’s Markel Baker scored a takedown on Crystal Lake South’s Christian Olsen with about 40 seconds remaining in their IHSA Class 2A 113-pound state semifinal Friday night, it spelled trouble for Olsen.
The defending state champion couldn’t break free for an escape to tie the match, and his chance at back-to-back titles ended in a 4-3 loss.
“It didn’t happen how I wanted it to, but I think this is just going to help me more for next year and for the ultimate goal of getting back on top of the podium,” said Olsen, a junior.
It started Saturday, when Olsen rebounded for two wins, taking home a third-place medal. Olsen was one of 12 McHenry County wrestlers who won medals in the consolation bracket Saturday afternoon at State Farm Center in Champaign.
His teammates Peyton Timmons (2A, 145) and Shane Moran (2A, 152) finished fourth and sixth, respectively. South has never had three medalists in one year. Olsen also became the first Gator to win three medals in his career.
Timmons, a senior, walked off the mat arm-in-arm with coach Ross Ryan after coming up short in his third-place match.
“He just told me he’s proud of me and he loved me,” Timmons said. “It’s been a long four years and I’m just happy to end – maybe not with an actual win – but getting on that podium. I’ve been chasing it for four years.”
Elsewhere in Class 2A, Marian Central had four wrestlers finish fourth in their class: Scott Burke (126), Daniel Valeria (132), Bryce Shelton (138) and Niko Lopez (182). With Elon Rodriguez (120) and Dylan Connell (170) wrestling in state title matches, six medalists marked a new program high for Marian. Valeria is a two-time medalist.
Like Olsen, Crystal Lake Central’s Caden Ernd (2A, 160) responded after losing a one-point state semifinal match Friday. Ernd finished third with two wins Saturday.
“It feels good to know that I can come back after taking a big loss,” Ernd said. “It hurts inside here” – he pointed to his chest – “but it still felt good to get a couple wins today and come out with a bronze.”
Prairie Ridge’s Kyle Koelblinger (2A, 195) finished in fourth place. He started for Prairie Ridge football’s 2017 IHSA Class 6A state championship team, and last season’s state runner-up.
A wrestling medal, though, was a different animal.
“In football you’ve got 10 guys to pick you up on the field when you’re not having a good day,” Koelblinger said. “Wrestling, it’s all you, there’s no excuses. It just feels good to get it done.”
In Class 1A, Harvard’s Nathan Rosas took down Vandalia’s Gavin Mouser, 8-3, in the fifth-place match. Rosas and Nik Jimenez (in the 126 state title match) became Harvard’s first state medalists in three years.
Two Huntley wrestlers brought home medals in the consolation, too. Jeremy Jakowitsch (3A, 138) finished third and Sam Spencer (3A, 126) finished fifth. Spencer is a two-time state medalist. He set Huntley’s all-time wins record this weekend, passing his brother Zach Spencer.
“It makes it a little better that I get to beat my brother, give him a little trash talk,” Spencer said. “I’m just blessed to even be a four-time state qualifier, two-time state placer. There’s not much more you can ask for.”
Medal round results
126 fifth-place: Sam Spencer (Huntley) def. Nick Minnito (Plainfield Central), 7-3.
138 third-place: Jeremy Jakowitsch (Huntley) def. Jared Gumila (Plainfield North), 7-3.
113 third-place: Christian Olsen (Crystal Lake South) def. Cory Hoyle (Morton), 11-4.
126 third-place: Garrett Chrisman (Chatham Glenwood) def. Scott Burke (Marian Central), 5-0.
132 third-place: Danny McPherson (Antioch) def. Daniel Valeria (Marian Central), 4-1 (OT).
138 third-place: Caine Tyus (Civic Memorial) def. Bryce Shelton (Marian Central), 6-3.
145 third-place: Cole Watkins (Washington) def. Peyton Timmons (Crystal Lake South), 2-1.
152 fifth-place: Aron Taylor (Carbondale) def. Shane Moran (Crystal Lake South), 9-2.
160 third-place: Caden Ernd (Crystal Lake Central) def. Matt Zuber (Fenwick), 5-1.
182 third-place: Raymond Arebalo (Crete-Monee) def. Niko Lopez (Marian Central), 6-2.
195 third-place: Niall Schoenfelder (Antioch) def. Kyle Koelblinger (Prairie Ridge), 3-2.
195 fifth-place: Nathan Rosas (Harvard) def. Gavin Mouser (Vandalia), 8-3.