CHAMPAIGN –áJake Snow left town with a medal around his neck, though it wasn't quite the one he had envisioned.
The Newman junior, one of the Class 1A favorites at 126 pounds, wound up third at the state wrestling tournament Saturday at Assembly Hall.
Snow, who was upset by Seneca's Sage Friese in Friday's quarterfinals, rebounded on Saturday with a trio of dominating performances. He now has two state medals, as he was a champ as a freshman.
"I still think it's a great attribute to have," Snow said. "Losing in the quarters was kind of a downer. I haven't had to be in consolation before, so I didn't really know how it would go. It's nice to know when something devastating happens, I can bounce back and keep pushing forward."
Snow (42-5) scored a takedown 20 seconds into the third-place bout against Litchfield's Devon Fenton, and didn't even sniff danger the rest of the way. He got two back points to up his lead to 4-0, then finished off the bout with a late takedown to finish off a 6-1 decision.
Earlier on Saturday, Snow pinned Orion's Jacob DeVolder in 5:47 in the wrestleback quarterfinals, then needed just 1:47 to polish off Dakota's Nathan Olsen in the semifinals.
Three more area wrestlers – Rock Falls' Carlos Gutierrez, Sterling's Isaac Anderson and Erie-Prophetstown's Brandon McCullough – came up short in their bids for third place and wound up fourth.
Gutierrez had a back-and-forth affair with Belleville Althoff's Jarrid Braunagel in the 1A 113-pound third-place bout before Braunagel pulled out an 8-6 decision. The difference was a takedown with 35 seconds left in the third period.
"I didn't do as good as I wanted, but I'll take it anyway just because it's a big tournament," Gutierrez said. "I'm not too glad about having that kid [Coal City's Corey Jurzak] in the finals that I majored [at the Princeton tournament]. That's pretty sad. I didn't come here and wrestle to my full abilities."
Gutierrez (38-7) was dominant in posting a 10-4 decision over Sherrard's Chance Teel in the wrestleback quarterfinals. He then squeaked by LeRoy's Tate Ruffner 6-5 in the semifinals.
McCullough (39-4) began Saturday with a 6-3 victory over Sherrard's Hunter Spengler in the 1A wrestleback quarterfinals. It was the fourth time he defeated Spengler this season.
In the wrestleback semis, McCullough gained a 5-3 decision over Kankakee McNamara's Zach Lorek.
McCullough then dropped a 5-1 decision to Warsaw's Will Lucie in the third-place bout.
"This feels wonderful," McCullough said. "It would have been nice to get third, but being fourth in the state is nothing to hang your head on."
Anderson (29-9) began his tournament on Thursday with a 6-3 decision against Cahokia's Dameon Adams. They hooked up again in the Class 2A third-place bout, and this time it was Adams who took an 8-5 win.
"I'm very excited getting fourth," said Anderson, who dropped both of his bouts as a freshman state qualifier. "Like my coaches said, I'm just a sophomore and I've got two more chances. This kid, I beat him before, but he changed his style up and kind of threw me off.
"I'll take that fourth-place medal, put it up in my room, look at it every day I wake up and remember I was right there in that match."
West Carroll's Jacob Klein, a surprise Class 1A semifinalist at 182 pounds, ended up with a sixth-place medal.
Klein (35-14) lost to Byron's Nick Elsbury 6-4 in the wrestleback semifinals, then was handled 14-6 in the fifth-place bout by Olympia's Garrett Kelson. Kelson recorded seven takedowns in the bout.
Dropping their quarterfinal wrestleback bouts and getting eliminated for the tournament were West Carroll 132-pounder Zach Hartman, Newman 138-pounder Stephen Adamecz, Dixon 138-pounder Kylian Lally and Sterling 285-pounder Curtis Lilly.