Uppinghouse, two QND grapplers still chasing spots on podium at state wrestling tourney

February 16, 2024 - Champaign, Illinois - Quincy's Owen Uppinghouse wrestles Lyons's Gunnar Garelli in their Class 3A 165-pound quarterfinal at the Illinois High School Association Individual Wrestling State Finals. Uppinhouse lost the bout in a 5-1 decision.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Quincy High School's Owen Uppinghouse, left, battles LaGrange Lyons' Gunnar Garelli in the Class 3A state quarterfinals at 165 pounds Friday at State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill. | Photo courtesy Clark Brooks, PhotoNews Media

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Owen Uppinghouse’s dream of becoming just the fifth Illinois High School Association state wrestling champion in Quincy High School history was dashed Friday morning.

Yet his chance to make history still exists.

The senior who entered the Class 3A state tournament undefeated and ranked No. 1 at 165 pounds suffered a 5-1 loss to LaGrange Lyons’ Gunnar Garelli in the quarterfinals at State Farm Center on the University of Illinois campus.

Uppinghouse responded to the setback by beating Lockport’s Durango Valles in the second round of wrestlebacks with a pin in 3 minutes, 42 seconds. Uppinghouse led 9-2 before earning the pin.

Uppinghouse (54-1) will face Rockton Honenegah’s Conner Diemel (45-6) in the third round of wrestlebacks — better known as the blood round — beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The winner is guaranteed a spot on the podium and a top-six medal. The loser goes home one match short. A victory means Uppinghouse will become just the third wrestler in QHS history with two state medals. He finished third last season in Class 3A at 160 pounds.

Two Quincy Notre Dame wrestlers are joining Uppinghouse in the blood round.

Sophomore Bradi Lahr beat Peotone’s Micah Spinazzola 2-1 in the Class 1A wrestlebacks at 144 pounds as he earned a penalty point in the third period after Spinazzola was called for stalling. Lahr escaped with 1 minute, 3 seconds to go and held on for the victory.

Lahr (40-6) will face Richmond-Burton junior Emmett Nelson (47-3) on Saturday morning.

QND junior Taylin Scott stayed alive at 215 pounds with a 9-6 decision of Reed-Custer’s Dominic Alaimo. Tied at 4 going to the third period, Alaimo chose to start on the bottom position and Scott gave him an immediate escape. Scott then recorded a takedown with 49 seconds remaining and earned a three-point nearfall 12 seconds later for an insurmountable lead.

Scott (45-5) will face Stanford Olympia senior Nolan Yeary (36-7) in the next round. Yeary pinned Scott in 3:29 in the sectional semifinals.

Quincy High School senior Bryor Newbold suffered a pair of losses Friday and was eliminated in the second round of wrestlebacks. Newbold was pinned in 1:11 by Chicago Mount Carmel’s Colin Kelly in the quarterfinals and suffered a 5-4 loss to Mount Prospect’s Michael Matuszak. Newbold led 3-0 going to the third period but Matuszak scored four points in the final 15 seconds to earn the victory.

Newbold finished with a 45-8 record.

Illini West junior Shawn Watkin was eliminated in the first round of the Class 1A wrestlebacks at 175 pounds as he was pinned in 1:38 by Fifthian Oakwood’s Dalton Brown. Watkins finished the season with a 35-11 record.

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