Senior Elliott Hill and sophomore Brent Marvin won SEC titles at the annual conference wrestling tournament held Saturday at Ypsilanti-Lincoln.
Hill and Marvin were among 10 Saline wrestlers who placed at the tournament. Saline finished third, behind Bedford and Tecumseh.
It was a strong closing statement for a Hornet wrestling team that turned in a successful regular season.
“We did some really good things here today,” coach Chad O’Brien said. “We had some individuals avenge some losses. We placed 10 out of 14 kids and put five kids in the finals. It was a pretty good day.”
Hill, a senior, won an 8-2 decision over Bedford’s Connor Frantz to win his 145-pound bracket. It was Hill’s second straight SEC championship.
“It means a lot. I put a lot of hard work into getting this far. I lost to this kid (Frantz) earlier in the season and I just wanted to show him I could go with the best of them,” Hill said.
Frantz scored early in the first period with a takedown. But Hill didn’t panic.
“I thinking 2-0 is very doable. I’ve come back from leads like that before. I just kept pushing and having a positive mindset,” Hill said.
Hill escaped. Then he took a 3-2 lead with a takedown and went up 6-2 with a near fall before the end of the first period. Hill added two more points in the second period and held on for an 8-2 decision.
For Marvin, son of longtime Saline wrestling coach Scott Marvin, it was his first SEC championship. The sophomore, wrestling at 103 pounds, earned a 17-5 major decision victory over Adrian’s Ray Torres in a championship that was never in doubt. Marvin led 9-0 after the first period and nearly had pins several times in the first and second periods.
“It feels good. I lost to that kid last year in the semis so it felt good to come back and dominate him like I did,” Marvin said. “I felt I’ve worked hard this year and had the upper hand, so I just went out and tried to work what I do.”
At 171 pounds, Cade Gilles advanced to the championship match against Colin Jagielski where he lost a 6-4 decision. Gilles was down 2-0, picked up a point with an escape and then took a 3-2 lead with a takedown. Jagielski tied it up before the end of the third with an escape. The Bedford wrestler scored the only point of the second period with an escape to take a 4-3 lead. Gilles tied it at 4 with an escape in the third period, but Jagielski won it with a takedown.
At 189, Josh Brannan advanced to the championship match. He lost 8-0 to Huron’s Grant Griswold. At 215, Zach Sabin lost his championship match by pin to Bedford’s Blake Wingate.
Brett Thornell won his 112-pound consolation final to finish third. Kolton Malinczak won a 6-0 decision to win his consolation final at 130 pounds. Luke Hoyt was pinned in the consolation final and took fourth at 135.
Jaden Malinczak, 119 pounds, and Jack Plumley, 160 pounds, finished sixth.
The Hornets now turn their attention to the post-season. Saline hosts the team district Thursday and competes in individual districts Saturday/