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Marion wrestlers return heartbroken from state finals

  • Marion's Gaige Owens wrestles in the consolation bracket at the IHSA Class 2A state wrestling championships Friday in Champaign.

    Marion's Gaige Owens wrestles in the consolation bracket at the IHSA Class 2A state wrestling championships Friday in Champaign.
    John Starks Photo

 
 
updated: 2/18/2019 12:42 AM

CHAMPAIGN -- We'll never know what could have been for Marion freshman Nate Dampier in his first trip to the IHSA Class 2A state wrestling championship.

Dampier, wrestling at 132 pounds, was "illegally slammed on his head and shoulder" by Canton's Dylan Grigsby in the opening round, as described by Marion coach Darren Lindsey, and was declared the winner of the bout by disqualification but also determined to have a concussion and forced to medically forfeit from the rest of the tournament.

"Nate was very disappointed," Lindsey said. "We thought Nate had a great chance to win a medal."

The victory obtained pushed Dampier's final season record to 44-4, which ties teammate River Flute for the most wins in a season in Marion school history.

Marion's other state qualifier, Gaige Owens, won his opening match at 120 pounds by pinning Riverside-Brookfield's Brock Hoyd in the third period, then lost in the quarterfinals to Chicago St. Patrick's Brad Ritter, 3-1.

Owens was given a bye in the first round of wrestlebacks, then took on Harvard's Nik Jimenez in the second round with hopes of making it to a medal round but lost by a 5-4 score.

Lindsey called the outcome a "heartbreaker" decision.

Owens finished his junior year with a 42-11 record.

 
 
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