Boys wrestling: Marian Central’s Anthony Alanis caps career with third-place finish at IHSA state

Alanis led 7 McHenry County-area wrestlers who placed

Marian Central’s Anthony Alanis controls Olympia’s Dylan Elmer in the 113 pound 1A third place match Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at the IHSA state wrestling finals at the State Farm Center in Champaign.

CHAMPAIGN – Marian Central’s Anthony Alanis still had a lot to wrestle for Saturday afternoon despite suffering heartbreak the night before.

Alanis, a senior, wanted to end his high school career with the best finish he could attain at the IHSA individual state tournament in Champaign after losing in his Class 1A 113-pound semifinal match Friday night. Although he couldn’t repeat as a state champion, he could still end his career with a win.

He did exactly that, running out to an early lead and winning his match 8-0 to take third.

“It would’ve felt good to be in the grand march today, but you have to do the next best thing,” Alanis said. “Third place is that.”

Alanis was the lone McHenry County-area wrestler to finish third Saturday. Six wrestlers earned a medal and finished in the top six of their respective weight classes at the State Farm Center. Six more wrestlers will compete for a state championship Saturday night.

Saturday’s win for Alanis came after he lost a 5-2 decision to Carlyle’s Preston Waughtel in the semifinals. Although he lost the match, Alanis thought he competed well all tournament and that continued Saturday.

He took a 1-0 lead in the second period in his match Saturday and built it to 3-0 before finally taking control and running away with the match.

Alanis capped a career where he placed each season. He took sixth at the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association state tournament in 2021 when there was no IHSA event because of the COVID-19 pandemic while taking second and winning the state title his sophomore and junior years, respectively.

Alanis wrestled with Grayslake Central his first three seasons before transferring to Marian this year.

Although he didn’t win the state title, Saturday felt like a crowning moment for Alanis.

“It means a lot,” Alanis said. “It cemented my status as one of the best wrestlers in Illinois.”

Prairie Ridge’s John Fallaw (Class 2A 215) and Marian’s Austin Hagevold (1A, 106) each took fourth place while Cary-Grove’s Hunter Lenz (2A, 113) and Woodstock North’s Kaden Combs (2A, 175) each placed fifth. Richmond-Burton’s Emmett Nelson (1A, 144) and Marian’s Max Astacio (1A, 165) each finished sixth and lost their matches by medical forfeit.

It would’ve felt good to be in the grand match today but you have to do the next best thing. Third place is that.”

—  Anthony Alanis, Marian Central senior

Fallaw fought back to fourth place after losing his opening match of the tournament. The Wolves senior won four straight matches before ultimately losing 4-1 in his third-place match.

While Fallaw ended his career with a loss, he was grateful to place in his first trip to state. He returned to the sport after only playing football a couple years ago.

Saturday felt gratifying after all the work it took to get to that point.

“I fought back from losing a bad match, my first match,” Fallaw said. “All I can do now is be proud of what I did.”