The day after finishing 15th at the IHSA Class 2A State Track Finals in the shot put, Hillsboro junior Magnus Wells punched his ticket for another state tournament.
Wrestling at 220 pounds, Wells was a perfect 3-0 at the the Lawrenceville Class 1A Sectional, put on by Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association after the IHSA decided not to hold a postseason tournament.
Wells didn’t just earn the Toppers’ first state bid since Jake Hefley went to the IHSA state tourney in 2019, but he did so in spectacular fashion with two first round pins over Cameron Sperry of Anna-Jonesboro and Riley Jones of Monticello, followed by a third win by fall at the five minute mark of the championship bout against Craig Markello of Robinson.
The trip to state in wrestling will be slightly shorter than the one Wells made for track, as the IWCOA Class 1A State Tournament will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield on Thursday, May 24. Unlike the IHSA tournament, Thursday’s event will be done all in one day, meaning that state champions will be crowned later that day.
While Wells was the only Topper to qualify for state, the other seven in attendance put up a fight.
Both Keegan Murray and Griffin Hughes made it to the consolation semifinals, just one step from state, before bowing out. Murray, wrestling at 113 pounds, won his first match over Jordon Wood, before falling to Carter Powell in the quarterfinals.
Murray then worked his way through the consolation bracket, beating Brianna Richey of Lawrenceville and Taylor Dothager of Vandalia, before losing to Memphis Lapatas of Goreville in the blood round.
Hughes also won his first match, beating Steven Hasse of Mt. Carmel in his 120-pound opener, but lost to Liam Fox of Murphysboro by tech fall in round two. In the consolation round, Hughes received a bye and won by injury default over Eli Klus of West Frankfort, before falling to David Kester of Anna-Jonesboro in the consolation semifinal.
In addition to those two, Logan Murray (106) and Jaben Compton (170) both made it to the third round of the consolation bracket before bowing out, while Ben Huber (126), Matt Page (132) and Zander Wells (152) went 0-2 at Lawrenceville.
June 19 at Lawrenceville
IWCOA 1A Sectional
106: Logan Murray (9-6) - def. Isaac Foster (Lawrenceville) by dec. 6-4; lost to Tony Keene (Harrisburg) by fall at 0:15; def. Zach Braun (Taylorville) by fall at 2:00; lost to Satchel Taylor (Mt. Carmel) by fall at 2:48.
113: Keegan Murray (23-8) - def. Jordon Wood (Mt. Carmel) by fall at 0:55; lost to Carter Powell (Litchfield) by fall at 1:44; def. Brianna Richey (Lawrenceville) by maj. dec. 10-1; def. Taylor Dothager (Vandalia) by fall at 2:57; lost to Memphis Lapatas (Goreville) by fall at 1:40.
120: Griffin Hughes (24-10) - def. Steven Hasse (Mt. Carmel) by fall at 2:41; lost to Liam Fox (Murphysboro) by tech fall 17-2 at 3:50; def. Eli Klus (West Frankfort) by injury default; lost to David Kester (Anna-Jonesboro) by fall at 0:46.
126: Ben Huber (0-4) - lost to Shaina Hyre (Lawrenceville) by fall at 1:45; lost to Winston Suni (Carterville) by fall at 1:18.
132: Matt Page (16-15) - lost to Gavin Mann (West Frankfort) by dec. 5-2; lost to Peyton Holt (Tolono Unity) by tech fall 18-2 at 3:40.
152: Zander Wells (6-18) - lost to Jared Carl (Cumberland) by fall at 0:47; lost to Jaxon Trent (Monticello) by fall at 0:22.
170: Jaben Compton (2-5) - lost to Jared Hermann (Robinson) by fall at 3:29; def. Tyler Golliher (Benton) by fall at 3:56; lost to Owen Birkner (Carlyle) by fall at 2:32.
220: Magnus Wells (22-3), 1st - def. Cameron Speery (Anna-Jonesboro) by fall at 0:42; lost to Riley Jones (Monticello) by fall at 1:41; def. Craig Markello (Robinson) by fall at 5:00.