It was an historic weekend for the Washington wrestling program.
There were two Panther finalists in the Illinois High School Association Class 2A state tournament for the first time and a school-record five athletes qualified for the showcase event at Assembly Hall in Champaign.
Washington senior Colton Gladwell (38-6) and junior Colin Carr (32-13) earned runner-up honors after state action was completed Saturday.
Austin Wileman, a Panther senior, was awarded a sixth-place medal.
Gladwell had his best showing yet in his fourth state berth, but it will not be easy to accept.
Tied at two in the 138-pound class with Chris Garcia of Lombard Montini through regulation and a one-minute sudden death overtime, Gladwell was called for unsportsmanlike conduct in the first 30-second session.
Garcia, who fell toward his coaches and then collided with their chairs when they did not deflect his fall, was given a point and, a short time later, the title by disqualification when he was unable to continue.
"The situation was unfortunate. It's going to be a hard pill for him to swallow," said WCHS head coach Bryan Medlin of Gladwell. "It's a good sign of maturity. He's handled it really well."
Medlin felt good about Gladwell's chances once the match went beyond the six-minute mark.
He told Gladwell if the bout gets to ride outs, "the match is yours." The coach added Gladwell was wrestling perfect.
A chorus of "boos" were heard throughout the arena after the decision.
"There was a lot of action post-whistle, but it was both ways," Medlin said.
Familiar with Garcia, Medlin said he had no doubt the Montini contestant would have came back if there was any way. Doctors took it out of Garcia's hands.
Carr also was defeated by a Montini grappler, Jake Turk, in a 16-5 major decision in the 182 final, which was the second of the night since 170 was the first division.
Medlin attributed a slow start by Carr to nerves as a first-time state qualifier.
Carr came on strong at the end, but the hill to climb was too high.
"In the last 50 seconds, he proved he could (compete)," said Medlin.
A broken vertebrae in his back caused Carr to miss his entire sophomore season, but he did not sit idly.
He came to every practice during the season and the offseason and made a meteoric leap.
"The 15 months off the mat grew a desire," said Medlin.
Carr went from placing second in the 2011 Mid-Illini Conference frosh/soph tournament to the state of Illinois' runner-up in just one year of competition.
Gladwell pinned Sir Lathan Wynn at the 1:28 mark on the opening night Thursday.
Page 2 of 2 - Friday morning, he edged Nick Remke of Woodstock Marian, 4-3, in the quarterfinals.
"The first takedown in the first period helped out in the end," said Gladwell after guaranteeing his second state medal.
He was satisfied with the start after an early exit last winter following a fourth-place medal as a sophomore.
"I'm real pleased," said Gladwell. "It's a lot better than last year when I lost my first match.'
Gladwell earned his position in the long-standing grand march, one of the great traditions in Illinois high school sports, with a 7-2 decision Friday night vs. Tinley Park's Eric Schultz.
Carr upset No. 1-ranked Chris Giatras of Lemont, 8-4, in the first round.
He backed up that victory with a 5-2 triumph vs. Waterloo's Pat Bieber.
"I'm happy to be here competing with these best guys," said Carr.
The Panther was a surprise to many on the University of Illinois campus.
"I'm pretty happy with my first state experience," Carr said.
The Carr upset parade continued when he dropped Bobby Schillinger of Yorkville, 8-6, in the semifinals.
Carr's win gave Washington duel representation in the finals.
Wileman regrouped from a 3-1 preliminary loss to Jimmy Pawelski of Montini in the 106 bracket to place sixth in his state debut.
Wrestleback wins over Bloomington's Devante Gray (4-1) and Briley Schultz (9-7) of Antioch lifted Wileman onto the awards stand.
Also at state, Panther freshman Randy Meneweather (37-11) lost twice in 132 and sophomore Jake Godinez (25-20) was 0-1 in 220.
Meneweather fell in overtime to Wauconda's Devin Tortorice (2-1) and Creed Janes (8-6) of Mattoon.
Meneweather battled through the postseason with an ankle injury and will try to keep moving forward on the path to being a multiple state champion.