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Marion wrestling sending two to state finals

 
By Justin Walker
updated: 2/12/2019 2:31 AM

MAHOMET -- The Marion High School wrestling team is sending two qualifiers to the IHSA Class 2A individual state tournament that begins Thursday in Champaign.

Marion competed over the weekend at the Mahomet-Seymour Sectional, where the top four finishers qualified for state.

Nate Dampier, a freshman, qualified by placing second at 132 pounds, while Gaige Owens placed third at 120.

Dampier started the sectional with a first-period pin of Rantoul's Rashon Allen in the quarterfinals, then avenged an earlier loss to Rantoul's Tim Welsh with a 13-7 win in the semifinals. Dampier lost to Mattoon's Jeremiah Jones in the finals, 7-3, after having beaten Jones at regionals by a 16-15 score.

Dampier takes a 43-4 record to the state tournament.

Owens fought back after losing his opening match to Mascoutah's Ryan Baker in overtime. The junior then won three straight matches in the consolation bracket to get to the third-place mat, starting with a 10-4 win over Olney's Colton Ritter and then a pin of Champaign Centennial's Natris Morris in 3:33.

Then with a 10-1 win over Champaign's DeLeon Rice, Owens made it to the third-place mat and defeated Springfield Lanphier's Colton Burtle, 6-5, to push his record to 41-9 going into the state finals.

River Flute has an outside chance as a second alternate at 170 pounds. Flute wrestled while battling the flu at the sectional and lost a 2-1 decision in the semifinals, the lost in the consolation semifinals to Mahomet-Seymour's Wyatt Heimann.

Flute's season record is 44-4, which is a Marion school record.

The state tournament starts Thursday and continues through Saturday night at the State Farm Center.

 
 
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