Williams falls just short

COLUMBUS – Seth Williams had climbed higher and went farther than any Columbian wrestler has. Saturday night, Williams became the first Tornado to wrestle for a state championship.

He didn’t bring home a state title, but gave his many supporters much to be proud of with his performance over the weekend at the Division II state tournament.

His championship match against Alex Marinelli from the wrestling factory that is St. Paris Graham was as even as could be for nearly two periods. However, Marinelli was able to catch Williams and score a pin with 20 seconds left in the second round.

“One move basically cost us the match,” Columbian coach Chad Long said. “We just gotta keep our elbows tight, be ready to go. We went in there with a good game plan. Went in, took him down right away. It’s just one of those things. Tight matches you got to keep close.”

Williams scored the match’s first points with a takedown 15 seconds in, but Marinelli was able to get an escape point shortly after. Later in the first round, Marinelli was able to score a takedown, only to have Williams escape, evening the score 3-3 after the first round.

Marinelli chose to go down to start the second and quickly picked up another escape point to take a 4-3 lead. The two battled on their feet for over a minute before Marinelli took advantage of a Williams mistake to take him down, and eventually get the pin.

“(Williams) had his elbows out a little bit and that kid just underhooked his arms, put him on his back and he couldn’t move,” Long said.

Long added that he saw the two as very evenly matched as evidenced by the back-and-forth score, until Marinelli hit the decisive move.

“It was balanced all the way,” Long said. “When a kid that explosive can do something like that, that’s the crazy thing and that’s the nature of wrestling. We’re very proud. He worked hard. Just the move happened, that’s all.”

It was the third time to state for the Columbian junior, placing higher and higher each time. This time he stood higher than anyone from Columbian ever has and Long is looking forward to making one more run at the title next year.

“He’s our most decorated wrestler that we have at Columbian,” Long said. “We’re proud of him. The whole city of Tiffin is proud of him. Everyone was rooting for him. Learn from the mistake and come back and wrestle next year and hope to win state next year.”