Breaking News Bar
updated: 2/22/2014 11:31 PM

The thrill of victory

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Chris Garcia of Lombard Montini Catholic High School falls to his knees after defeating SirRomeo Howard of East St. Louis High School Saturday in the 145-pound weight class championship match of the wrestling IHSA Class 2A state tournament at State Farm Center in Champaign.

       Chris Garcia of Lombard Montini Catholic High School falls to his knees after defeating SirRomeo Howard of East St. Louis High School Saturday in the 145-pound weight class championship match of the wrestling IHSA Class 2A state tournament at State Farm Center in Champaign.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 

CHAMPAIGN -- Jered Cortez and Jon Marmolejo were part of prep wrestling history only minutes apart Saturday night at the University of Illinois' State Farm Center.

But for different reasons.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Marmion senior Johnny Jimenez was the only Class 3A 126-pound wrestler to defeat Marmolejo this season, denying the Panthers' senior any offensive points in a 5-1 victory.

It was the fourth state championship for the Wisconsin-bound Jimenez.

Cortez, part of the Marmion Class 2A championship quintet three years ago, then became the 13th athlete in state history to win titles all four years with his 3-1 overtime victory over Lincoln-Way Central senior Joey Nelson.

But Josh Albers topped the former Marmion teammates moments later when the Dakota Class 1A kingpin became the first athlete in state history to finish without a loss in high school.

The latest Cortez state triumph was especially convincing considering the conclusion to his regular season.

"I actually have a torn (left) MCL," said Cortez, who had a reversal late in overtime to earn the victory. "I tore my MCL at the (DuPage Valley) conference tournament. I was on his legs a lot. He didn't take one shot on me. I gutted out that match. The (final) score was closer than (the actual match)."

Cortez is the fourth multiple state champion in the Panthers' storied history.

"I am not going out, because (State Farm Center) is my home," said Cortez, an Illinois commit. "I want to represent the state well."

Jimenez scored midway through the first with a takedown and secured his fourth championship with a final score two seconds before the last buzzer.

"Keep the score close and good things happen," Marmolejo said of his strategy. "It didn't happen this time."

"(Marmolejo) was the underdog," Glenbard North coach Mark Hahn said. "Jon Marmolejo is a workhorse. (Jimenez) has beaten him every time they have ever wrestled."

"It was a tough match," Jimenez said. "I have been wrestling (Marmolejo) since I was 5 years old."

Hinsdale Central heavyweight Brian Allen was denied in his bid for a repeat state championship. The Red Devils' four-year all-state performer lost the ultimate tiebreaker to Moline senior Adarious Jones.

Jimmy Davis became the first medal-winner in 12 years for Waubonsie Valley; the Warriors' three-time state qualifier defeated WW South junior Qarin Johnnic for third place at 138 pounds.

It was not an auspicious beginning for the nine Montini finalists in Class 2A when Anthony Ferraro, Edgar Ruano and Michael Johnson were victimized by one-sided defeats between 195 pounds and heavyweight. But Dylan Duncan, Kegan Calkins, Vince Turk, Chris Garcia and Xavier Montalvo all emerged victorious between 120 and 170 pounds.

Winfield resident Duncan, a Marmion transfer, ended the season-long winning streak of Sycamore senior Kyle Akins at 44 matches with his 7-0 win.

"I didn't want to give him any points," Duncan said. "I didn't take anything for granted."

Calkins' 5-1 win at 126 pounds make it back-to-back Montini wins, and Turk was back in the win column two classes later at 138.

"I consider this to be my first (official) state championship," Garcia said after turning back East St. Louis' Romeo Howard at 145 pounds.

Garcia captured his first title last year due to an injury default. Montalvo completed the final puzzle for Montini with an 8-1 triumph at 170 pounds over Tinley Park sophomore Eric Schulz.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here