In his first trip to state, Hillsboro’s Magnus Wells came as close to earning a medal as you could get as the junior 220-pounder went 2-2 and ended his day one step away from a trip to the podium.
Wells started out slow in his opening match against Isiah Im of Normal West, but shook off the nerves in the second period of the match. Starting on bottom, Wells escaped in the first seven seconds to break a 0-0 tie, then took down Im and pinned him 22 seconds into period to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Topper 220-pounder wrestled well in his second match against Aidan Nardin of Dakota, battling back before falling in a 9-5 decision. Wells wasted little time in advancing in the consolation bracket after the loss though, as he pinned Severin Vorotnjak in 44 seconds to move on to the third round of wrestlebacks.
Facing seventh ranked Evan Antonio of Colfax Ridgeview in the blood round, Wells fell behind early, but scored a reversal to trail just 4-2 after the second period.
Antonio would start on bottom in the third and scored an escape in the final 30 seconds, making it 5-2 as Wells needed to get points quickly to extend his season. With 15 seconds left, Wells shot in and got a hand on Antonio, but slipped, allowing the Ridgeview junior to score a takedown and a three-point nearfall to sew up the match.
Both of Wells’ losses came against wrestlers who went on to medal, with Nardin finishing fourth and Antonio coming in fifth. The two losses nearly doubled Wells’ season total as he finished the year as one of the Toppers’ most successful competitors with a 24-5 record.
The success of the 2021 season, especially with the strain of wrestling and competing in track (where he was 15th at state in the shot put), showed that the sky is the limit for Wells next year.
Magnus Wells (24-5)
220 Pounds: def. Isiah IM (Normal University) by fall at 2:22; lost to Aidan Nardin (Dakota) by dec. 9-5; def. Severin Vorotnjak (Westmont) by fall at 0:44; lost to Evan Antonio (Colfax Ridgeview) by maj. dec. 10-2.