Marko Tupanjac and Cory Barth earned fifth place medals to lead the Deer Path Middle School wrestling team to an 18th place finish in the State Tournament Saturday on the Northern Illinois University campus in DeKalb.
The Braves compiled 43 points with Peter Kennedy, Caleb Durbin and Andrew Tuttle joining Barth and Tupanjac decorating the board for Deer Path. The team finished two counts behind Antioch and a tally ahead of Highland of Libertyville. Homer Glen was the team champion.
Before the tournament, Coach Jim Troemel was hoping to see at least one Brave on the medal stand. “We’re looking for placers,” he said at practice Wednesday. He got twice his wish.
Though he earned his medal with a pin in 36 seconds, Tupanjac did not take an easy route. After winning his preliminary-round match in the 119-pound weight class, 12-4, he was forced to default his first round bout Friday.
The Braves' 119 pounder came back strong in the consolation bracket pinning his first round and quarterfinal opponents in less than a minute before landing in the fifth place match.
Barth (215) secured his medal with a 7-0 victory. He started out pinning his first round opponent in 3:15 Friday before losing in the quarterfinals, 10-9, to be cast into the consolation bracket. Once there, he earned a 10-9 decision in his opening round effort and pinned the next wrestler in 3:47 before moving on the fifth-place contest..
Durbin (90) was the Braves other quarterfinalist. After winning his first round match, 13-4, he dropped his quarterfinal tilt and his opening round consolation bout. Tuttle (90) took his preliminary round match, 6-4, before losing the next two.
Kennedy (126) was the only other Brave with a victory. After losing a preliminary match, 12-6, he earned a berth in the consolation round winning his first bout, 10-1, before dropping a 5-4 decision.
Alex Svigos (155) and Liam Pooler (112) also reached the wrestle backs after a preliminary round defeat before losing there. Quinn Dailey (80) and Chris Wasser (100) took part as well.
Complete results of every match can be found on the Illinois Elementary School Association website.
If you have pictures of your Brave at the meet: If you send them we will publish.