CHAMPAIGN – Brian Allen stepped on to the medal stand at the state wrestling tournament for the fourth time last weekend.
It’s an achievement most wrestlers would love to have on their resumes, but a second place finish at 285 pounds in Class 3A was still tough to swallow for the Hinsdale Central senior.
The defending state champ at 285, Allen lost 3-2 on the ultimate tiebreaker in the fourth overtime against Moline’s Adarios Jones. Allen chose down position in that overtime and had to escape or reverse Jones to earn points for the win. Jones prevented Allen from doing either and won the title.
“His senior year, I feel bad for him,” Central head coach Jason Hayes said. “He’s put in a lot of work. It’s just a tough loss. The Moline kid’s good. He’s a good [wrestler]. He’s going to Northern Iowa and he’s got a scholarship. It’s not like he lost to a nobody.”
Despite the way his career ended, Allen’s credentials stack up with the best wrestlers in state history.
“He’s been down here four times — third, third, champion and runner-up,” Hayes said. “Those are amazing credentials at the end of the day. They’re amazing, and any kid would want those.”
Wrestling at a 145-pound class that was considered the deepest in the state, Central junior Juwan Edmond dropped a quarterfinal match before winning four wrestleback matches for a third place finish.
For the 2013 state runner-up who had designs on winning a title, third place didn’t satisfy.
“Me placing third really doesn’t do anything for me,” Edmond said. “My main goal was to win state, and I feel I disappointed a lot of people.”
Following his loss, Edmond, who was also a fifth-place finisher as a freshman, won his first two wrestleback matches via first-period pin and major decision. He won 3-2 in a backdraw semifinal before winning the third-place bout, 12-9.
“I didn’t do anything well in my quarterfinal match,” Edmond said of the 9-6 loss. “I would say me bouncing back was the highlight of my tournament.”
“After that [quarterfinal] match I kind of got on his butt and said, ‘Hey man, you’ve got to suck it up and get after and get that fire going,’” Hayes said. “He had a bad match in the quarterfinals, but he came back in the wrestlebacks and finished third, and he beat some really good kids to do it.”
Central sophomore Matt Allen went 1-1 in the main draw at 220 and 1-1 in the backdraw, but did not medal in his first trip to state. His two wins came via fall, and his two losses came to the second- and third-place finishers.
Justin Maslow (145) and Josh King (220) both represented Hinsdale South at the state meet.
Maslow, a senior who was all-state last season, won his opening match 11-1, before falling to eventual state champ Larry Early III of Oak Park-River Forest. He bounced back with an 8-0 win in the wrestlebacks, but Sandburg’s John Pellegrino then knocked him out of the tournament.
Sophomore King dropped a narrow 2-1 decision in his first-round match and was denied a chance to keep wrestling when the winner of that initial match lost his subsequent bout.
• Brian Allen: 45-2
• Matt Allen: 39-6
• Juwan Edmond: 49-2
• Justin Maslow: 42-8
• Josh King: 40-6