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Victor Marks-Jenkins Takes Bronze

Perry Hall’s undefeated top-ranked 4A/3A 157lb state champion, Victor Marks-Jenkins, made the trek out to Iowa this past weekend for the USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals at the UNI Dome on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa.

“Going to the Mid-West and outside of the Mid-Atlantic, and especially being from Maryland, you have to earn respect amongst these guys as you aren't very highly regarded going in,” Perry Hall coach Doug Yoakum said, “VMJ has done enough of these events to be on some radars, and he's always been a very businesslike wrestler in terms of keeping his emotions in check. He doesn't get very high or low based on the results. It’s very unlike most that I've been around.”

Marks-Jenkins competed in the 16U Division and placed third with his only loss coming to freshman Brody Sendele (Hononegah, IL), who was a returning champion at the event. Sendele went on to win the title, picking up a pin in the finals over Iowa’s Barrett Mieras, 1:41.

“I knew going in, the guy to beat at this weight was the Illinois kid,” Yoakum elaborated. “What a state they have for wrestling, Sendele and (Aaron) Stewart were in the same weight class at the Illinois state tournament and both won titles at this. These guys have each other to compete with all year you can't simulate this level around here (Maryland) very easily.”

Stewart, who is ranked 11 th in the nation by Scorebook Live, won the Illinois 3A 157lb title with a win over Mt. Carmel’s No. 21 Eddie Enright. Enright kicked Sendele down to the consolation bracket, where he rebounded to place third. The Perry Hall sophomore gave Sendele his closest match, dropping an 8-3 decision in the quarter finals. Marks-Jenkins pinned all of his foes and posted a 10-1 major-decision of Idaho’s Ryan Lewis in his only win that went the distance.

In the consolation final, Marks-Jenkins decked Utah’s Gage Brady in the middle frame, 2:48. Others who were put to sleep by the Gator were South Dakota’s Zhoel Irion, 4:45, Wisconsin’s Markus Fletcher, 2:06, and Tennessee’s Jonah Little, 1:02.

“All in all, victor wrestled a good tournament going 5-1 with five bonus point wins over some solid wrestlers,” Yoakum continued. “The lone loss to the two-time champ was a decision that was 2-3 in third period. We had a chance to pull that one out and just came up short.”

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