HIGH FINISH: Madison’s Jordan Partee (top) in action Saturday at the IHSAA Wrestling State Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Photo courtesy of Steve Mitchell)
HIGH FINISH: Madison’s Jordan Partee (top) in action Saturday at the IHSAA Wrestling State Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Photo courtesy of Steve Mitchell)
Madison seniors Jordan Partee and Mitchell Sandlin closed out their Cub wrestling careers with impressive finishes at the IHSAA State Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Partee finished fourth at 160 pounds, the highest finish by a Madison wrestler in 17 years. Sandlin placed eighth at 195 pounds, one of only three podium finishes the school has produced in the past decade.

"Both of these young men have put together not only impressive seasons this year but have really put together tremendous careers at Madison and will go down as two of the greats," Madison coach Tyson Skinner said.

Partee, ranked sixth in the state, opened Saturday's quarterfinals with arguably the best match of his tournament run.

Facing off against 16th-ranked Max Dole of East Central, Partee score four takedowns to Dole's one in a 9-6 win that was never as close as the score indicated. Partee controlled the tempo and was the aggressor from the start.

That win moved him into the semifinals and set up a showdown with top-ranked Vinny Corsaro of Cathedral. Corsaro lived up to his ranking by stopping every attack Partee attempted while capitalizing with his own offense and Partee ended up on the wrong side a 12-4 match.

The loss set up a rematch of the semistate finals with 14th-ranked Gabe Koontz of Edgewood in the third-place match. Partee, looking for revenge for a 5-1 loss last week, took a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

Partee scored an early escape for a 3-1 lead. Koontz was able to score on a leg attack but Partee quickly got to his feet for the escape to make it 4-3 with seconds remaining in the match. Scrambling as time expired, Koontz finished in on an attack but no takedown was awarded. However, after a discussion between the assistant official and head official Koontz was awarded the takedown to take the win away from Partee and ending his tourney run.

Partee's fourth-place finish marks the best topurney run by a Madison wrestler since 1997 when current assistant coach Dustin Bentz was the state runner-up in the heavyweight division.

"The late call for the takedown in the third place match hurt but at this level everyone is tough and to finish fourth in the entire state is something to be proud of," Skinner said. "This is the fourth-highest finish by any Madison wrestler so it has truly been a honor to be able to coach this young man for four years and watch him grow."

Sandlin, ranked 15th, opened his second day with a matchup against eventual state champion Katrell Moss of Warren Central. Moss jumped out to an early lead and despite Sandlin's constant attacks, scored a 7-2 win.

Sandlin then found himself matched withg sixth-ranked Kanez Omar of Ft. Wayne Wayne where he trailed just 6-4 late but Omar countered Sandlin's desperation attempt to score as time expired with a takedown for the 8-4 final margin.

In the seventh-place match, Sandlin nearly scored the win over third-ranked Kobe Woods of Penn. Leading 5-2, Sandlin got Woods with a front headlock and underhook to take Woods to his back but officials awarded a penalty point to Woods for a illegal headlock.

After a brief stoppage to explain the call, the match resumed and Woods picked up a reversal to take Sandlin to his back and secure a fall in the second period.

"We watched video to confirm what I already knew: That it was a blown call by the officials in that match," Skinner said. "Nonetheless, Mitchell is part of a select few of Madison wrestlers that have finished as medalist in the State Finals and eighth place is one heck of a accomplishment."

Both wrestlers end their careers with several school records. Partee (53-3) ends the season with a school record for wins, takedowns and win streak (51) while Sandlin (49-7) has the second-most wins in school history and owns the career mark for pins.

"These guys have been a part of something special here at Madison," Skinner said. "They were freshman my first year here and to see how far they have come from that first day of practice their freshman year is special. They have laid the groundwork for the rest of the guys in our program and the future is bright."