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Two senior wrestlers advance at individual state tournament

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By Andrew Harner

CHAMPAIGN – Seniors Daniel Edwards and Levi Ulmer won first-round bouts at the individual state tournament on Thursday.

With their wins, they are assured at least a spot in the wrestle-back bracket if they are unable to win in Friday’s quarterfinal matches. That round starts at 8:30 a.m. at Assembly Hall.

Ulmer (32-6) defeated Jeffrey Haley (32-11) of Quincy Notre Dame, 14-8, by taking immediate control and fighting all the way to the finish.

And as an encore, he threw up a Subway pizza sandwich all over the mat.

Ulmer’s quarterfinal opponent is Shawn Skinner (28-10) of Rock Falls.

For Edwards, the match was nerve-racking, as he forced overtime with just three seconds left in regulation by securing a takedown of his opponent, Sean Liaromatis (34-8) of Wilmington.

His takedown tied the score at four, and he secured the first score in overtime to win, 5-4, with the point coming on a penalty on Liaromatis for fleeing the mat.

Edwards (24-7) will meet LeRoy senior Josh Johnson (33-2) in the quarterfinals.

Three other wrestlers also battled in the first round.

Freshman Dalton Blankenship (21-12) had a tough match against Wilmington’s Andy Rodawold (34-2), falling by technical fall in 4:59.

Sophomore Seth Purcell (17-10) lost, 12-2, to Morrison’s Mark McDonnell (23-1).

Both of those wrestlers will likely make the wrestle-back bracket, which begins on Friday at 1 p.m. First-round losers advance to the wrestle-backs if their opponent makes the semifinals.

Senior Dayin Godberson (37-8) lost in overtime, 5-4, to Porta’s Dakota Richards (36-7)