|Edmonds closes HS career with three #1 medals|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
HHS senior Mark Edmonds took the long way to the top, but when the final buzzer sounded on four overtimes, he claimed the 132-lb. 2A Colorado State Wrestling championship.
The long way started when Edmonds finished as regional runner-up to Alex Klopp of Yuma. Even though Edmonds was a two-time returning state champ, the regional finish seeded him sixth in this year’s state tourney.
He had a tough quarterfinal match which he pulled off with a narrow 1-0 win over eventual third-place finisher Clay Seeman of Baca County.
Edmonds went on to take a second-period pin in the semis to set the stage for a rematch with Klopp.
It wasn’t a new scenario. In fact it was the exact same scenario from a year ago. Klopp defeated Edmonds in regionals, then the Dragon grappler came back for the state win.
Mark Edmonds is in control over Alex Klopp of Yuma in the 2A 132-lb.
But this year Klopp had been wrestling at 126 all season and bumped up a weight class for regionals to pair up the two Northeast Colorado seniors. Klopp finished on top 3-1 to claim the number-one seed in the state tournament bracket.
Under the big lights Saturday night at the Pepsi Center, Edmonds scored first on an escape in the second period and almost got takedown points as the period ended.
Klopp tied it with an escape midway through the third and final regulation period, and the 1-1 tie withstood three overtime periods.
Scoring first was key to the win, as it gave Edmonds the choice of top or bottom in the fourth overtime. Coach Jack Garrison planned it that way, according to Edmonds.
Opting for the top, all Edmonds had to do was ride out the final 30 seconds for the 2-1 win. He mastered that with confidence and the Dragon fans erupted with emotion.
Edmonds admits he just wasn’t on top of his game at regionals. It was tough because he really wanted those regional titles.
“I know when I have to get things done and how to do them,” said Edmonds as he described his path from number six seed to state champion.
He said he always wrestles his best at the state tournament, and that, of course, is where it counts most.
Mark Edmonds’ family and friends are ecstatic as he survives four overtime periods to claim a 2-1 state championship in the 132-lb. weight class at the 2012 Colorado State Wrestling Championships. —Enterprise photo
In the championship, Edmonds said he knew he needed a takedown. When he almost got it at the end of the second period, he sensed he was into Klopp’s head, and that gave him confidence.
Coach Garrison praised Edmonds for “a great match.” Extremely pleased with the Dragon senior’s three state titles,” Garrison attributed the success to Edmonds’ hard work.
“He’s wrestled all over the country and put in time and effort, and it’s paid off for him. I’m glad I could be part of it,” added Garrison.
“It’s tough to get two state championships and even tougher to get three,” said the coach. “It’s a great career he’s had.”
With humble appreciation, Edmonds thanked his team, coaches and family—”especially my dad.”
On the way to the top
On his way to the championship, Edmonds kicked off his fourth-straight state tournament appearance with a pin in 1:21 over John Mall senior John Burch.
Meeting second-seeded Seeman in the quarterfinals was a tough route, but Edmonds survived with a 1-0 decision. His second-period escape gave him the win.
Mark Edmonds gets the pin in 3:34 in his semifinal match with Bryce McCracken of Crowley County. —Enterprise photo
Edmonds was never in trouble in the good, controlled match, said coach Garrison. But it was a tough one. “He beat a good one,” the coach added.
In his semifinal match with Bryce McCracken of Crowley County, Edmonds led 4-0 before securing the fall in 3:34. Edmonds wrestled more offensively, which coach Garrison likes.
Edmonds finishes 142-17; heads to Bucknell
With an impressive 142-17 high school career record, Edmonds looks forward to wrestling for Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. He received the school’s top scholarship when he signed his national letter of intent last November.
Edmonds started strong his freshman year when he went 36-4 and placed third at 103 lbs.
As a sophomore he was 29-2 and won the 112-lb. state title; last year he finished 40-5 with a 125-lb. title and this year’s season record was 37-6 including the 132-lb. state championship.
Edmonds, along with a 3A wrestler from Olathe and a 5A wrestler from Regis Jesuit, boosted the all-time count for Colorado three-time state champions to 87.
The only other Dragon to achieve three-time state champion status is Chad Stroh, who won state titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Mark Edmonds seeks out his dad, Bert, after claiming his third-straight state wrestling title Saturday night.
The senior wrestler kept with tradition by giving his dad the coin flipper disk used for his championship match.
Holyoke Enterprise February 23, 2012