Eleven of Marshall's 12 entries medaled, seven winning their final matches, to accumulate 182 points for second place to defending champion Brookfield (194 points), MissouriWrestling.com's top-ranked Class 1 program. That was the Owls' highest finish since winning the title with 190 points in 2006.
Marshall went into the finals with a one-point lead over the Bulldogs, but were at a disadvantage. While Brookfield has seven grappling for gold medals, four eventually winning them, the Owls only had five.
The lone champion for Marshall was senior Austin Stickels, who had only taken the mat in the semifinal round after being seeded first in a slim 182-pound weight class. Stickels won that match by fall.
The first-place match victory was critical to the Owls being runner-up, since they were being challenged by Versailles. Stickels' 3-2 decision over senior Abram Brooks allowed Marshall to finish three points ahead of the Tigers in the final standings.
Two of the Owls' three other finalists had pinned both of their preliminary opponents before suffering the same fate to Clinton grapplers in the medal round. Junior Canaan Heinzler (136 pounds) was stopped by 26-1 junior Josh Ryun and junior Tyler Morrison (145) -- who had upset top-seeded Jordan Silvey of Versailles the previous round -- was downed by freshman Grant Taylor.
Senior Berry Benedick (285) got through a tough semifinal with a 3-1 decision over Brookfield sophomore Dexter Carmichael, and was giving Versailles senior Wesley Davidson -- the No. 1 seed at 15-1 coming into the meet -- a hard time before losing his balance and getting stuck late in the first period.
Freshman Austin Ballard (106) won his first two matches by fall before being pinned in the finals by Versailles freshman Dalton Schmidt.
Through the first round of the meet, Marshall was tied for second with the Tigers with 101 points, but a solid semifinal performance had given the home team a 13-point cushion. The Owls won five of the eight bouts in the round, all three losses coming to eventual champions.
Freshman Aaron Sims (132), senior Nick Harper (160) and junior T.J. Fox (170) each pinned their foes for third place.
Marshall won two of three first-round matches in the wrestleback, both junior Chris Stephenson (152) and junior Tyler Eidson (195) going on to finish in fifth place.
The Owls had a pair of rookies come away without a win, although in the case of freshman Darin Martin (113) there wasn't much opportunity. With only five entries in his weight class, a narrow 7-6 first-round loss to Brookfield freshman Matt Jackman -- who handily defeated his next two opponents for the championship -- ended Martin's day.
Overall, Marshall wrestlers went 21-12 during the meet, which featured 11 teams. The tournament moved so quickly, though, that not all of the queen candidates could get to the school for Matwarming ceremonies -- which had to be postponed to a school assembly this afternoon.
The Owls won't have a chance to rest up, since they host Versailles in a dual match today.