Murty third at state wrestling

GMG’s Conner Murty ties up Jake Smith of Clarke in the opening round of the state wrestling tournament on Feb. 18. Allison Graham/Sun Courier

DES MOINES — GMG’s Conner capped off a decorated high school wrestling career with a third place finish at last week’s Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines.

Competing with the shared East Marshall/GMG squad, Murty made his way back to the state tournament after breaking through in his junior year.

In his senior campaign Murty was among elite contenders for the 220-pound title, with only two losses on the season coming against 2021 state champion Kobe Simon of West Liberty.

Murty started out the tournament with a win by fall over Jake Smith of Clarke.

From there on out the road was littered with ranked competition up and down the 220 class bracket.

Murty got a 7-1 decision victory over fifth-ranked Treyton Burnikel of Crestwood in the quarterfinal round but ran into Simon in the semifinals.

In his match with Simon, Murty’s biggest offensive maneuver came in the second period when he escaped from the bottom position to and scored a two-point reversal, taking a short-lived 3-2 lead. Simon quickly scored an escape and managed takedowns in the second and third periods to go on for an 8-5 victory.

In the consolation semifinals Murty locked horns with tenth-ranked Gage Marty of Solon. Marty got on the board first with a one-point escape to start the second period.

But Murty would respond with four points scored from a takedown and a reversal to lead 4-3 going into the final period.

Starting from the bottom position, Murty managed a reversal and was able to hold on for a 6-3 win.

In the third place match on Friday, Murty went up against third-ranked Crew Howard of Clarinda.

Howard took the first period 3-2 with a takedown and an escape, while Murty got in a reversal to keep the score close.

The second period went to Murty with an escape from the bottom position and a takedown halfway through the period.

Howard tied things up in the third with a reversal after Murty did his best to contain the Clarinda senior from on top.

In a sudden death overtime round Murty emerged victorious with a takedown 52 seconds into the period.

Murty wrapped up a successful senior campaign with a record of 34-2.