BLOOMINGTON – Ranked No. 1 in Class 2A most of the season, Marian Central wrestling came into IHSA dual team state with a clear goal. The Hurricanes wanted a state title. At the least, they wanted another trophy to go with last year's third-place trophy.
They went home empty handed.
Aurora Christian defeated Marian, 32-25, in a Class 2A state quarterfinal, ending Marian’s season.
“Sometimes things don’t work out the way you want them to,” Marian coach David Silva said.
The Hurricanes (22-1) led early, but Aurora Christian won six straight matches from 195 pounds through 120. Marian’s Scott Burke pinned Aurora Christian’s Adan Rocha at 126 to pull Marian within three, 28-25. Burke secured his pin in the final minute, giving Marian some hope.
“I just know I had to get bonus points for the team,” Burke said. “I had to do anything I could to score. Work as hard as I could and make sure that we can get a little closer.”
Marian senior Jack Harman found himself needing a win in the final match at 132. Aurora Christian’s Cameron Johnson closed it out with a 12-0 major decision.
“That was a tough position,” Silva said. “He went out there and competed and that’s all I asked. I ask these guys to go out and compete. I don’t care about wins and losses, I just want them to go out there and compete. Everyone did that, from top to bottom.”
Two Marian individual medalists lost matches. Elon Rodriguez suffered a 3-0 defeat at 120. Daniel Valeria, a 132 medalist, bumped up to 138 and lost to Aurora Christian’s Noah Villarreal, who just won his third state title last week.
“He’s a little bigger than me, but that’s no excuse to lose,” Valeria said. “He’s a good wrestler and I just gave it all I had. It’s my last high school match. It sucks to go out like that, but whatever my coaches tell me to do is pretty much what I do.”
Marian three-time state champion Dylan Connell won by forfeit at 170. Marian’s Bryce Shelton (145), Jonah Braden (160) and Niko Lopez (182) also won matches.
The Hurricanes were wrestling without starter Kaden Randazzo, who was out with a knee injury. Mason Schwalbach has been out with an injury as well. Josh Glover, who just recently returned from an ACL injury, lost a two-point match at 106.
“Unfortunately we’re a small school and when guys go down with injuries, we don’t have that depth yet,” Silva said.
Aurora Christian won a state title in Class 1A in 2018, and finished as a runner-up in 2019. That success bumped Aurora Christian up to Class 2A due to the IHSA success factor rule for nonboundaried schools.
If there’s a silver lining for Marian, it’s that the Hurricanes will remain in Class 2A next season. Back-to-back trophies would have bumped the Hurricanes up to Class 3A due to the success factor rule.
“There’s not much that you can say after a disappointing loss like that, but I just told them that I am proud of them and how they performed,” Silva said. “Unfortunately things didn’t work out our way.”
Aurora Christian 32, Marian Central 25
138: Villarreal (AC) def. Valeria (Marian), 11-3.
145: Shelton (Marian) p. Martinez (AC), 5:29.
152: Medina (AC) def. Holian (Marian), 6-3.
160: Braden (Marian) def. Zepeda (AC), 9-0.
170: Connell (Marian) by fft.
182: Lopez (Marian) def. Certa (AC), 8-2.
195: Knauf (AC) def. Gaddy (Marian), 11-5.
220: Jaimes (AC) def. Miller (Marian), 16-5.
285: Esquivel (AC) def. Pawlak (Marian), 7-0.
106: Dial (AC) def. Glover (Marian), 7-5.
113: Moore (AC) tech. fall Davidson (Marian), 17-2.
120: Mylin (AC) def. Rodriguez (Marian), 3-0.
126: Burke (Marian) p. Rocha (AC), 5:13.
132: Johnson (AC) def. Harman (Marian), 12-0.