For Jacob Warner and Dack Punke, wrestling at the IHSA Class 2A individual state tournament is not a new experience.

However, the Washington seniors relished their final appearances in the individual tournament.

Warner (44-0) won the 195-pound division to earn his third individual state championship, while Punke (41-2) won the 120-pound division to earn his second individual state championship.

“They both have been consummate about being guys that are role models to younger wrestlers,” Washington wrestling coach Bryan Medlin said. “I am proud to just be associated with them. They do wrestling the right way and live the right lifestyle.”

Warner defeated Hunter Crowley, of Mahomet-Seymour, via technical fall (22-7) in the championship bout.

In his first three matches at the tournament, Warner pinned his opponents.

Crowley presented Warner with a new challenge, and the Panthers senior was pleased with the way he responded.

“I had to work really hard in the first period and I got a little tired,” Warner said of his match against Crowley. “It just showed me what I needed to work on, so I got better during the match and it helped me open my eyes to grow from it. “

While Warner, a University of Iowa wrestling recruit, is known for dominating his opponents and earning quick pinfall victories, Punke picked apart his opponents the entire offseason.

Punke won state without allowing any points to be scored against him in nine postseason matches.

Punke’s postseason points tally was 114 points scored and zero points allowed.

“Last year I gave up a couple of points in the finals and this year I wanted to eliminate those points and add more points to my side,” Punke said. “My defense is dictated because of how I score on offense. Right after I focus on defense, I attack because opponents mistakenly give those points up.”

The Missouri wrestling signee defeated Hassan Johnson of Chicago Brother Rice 6-0 in the state championship match.

Washington juniors Tyler Delaware (126 pounds) and Blaize Punke (138 pounds) lost in state championship bouts to earn second-place finishes.

“When you expect to win, second place feels like the moon to you,” Medlin said. “In the end, any of these matches should not define who you are. These losses can change people, so if the end result is putting together the most rewards, then the loss stinks. But, I think this will help make us better wrestlers.”

In total, Washington had nine wrestlers compete in the state tournament, with all nine earning podium finishes.

“In the end, these guys love each other,” Medlin said. “I see them in the wrestling room everyday and they really care a lot about each other and they know what each other are capable of doing.”

Morton’s Mikie Hartnett earned a second-place finish in the 145 pound division.

The Potters junior (32-1) suffered his first and only loss of the season in the state championship match.

Gavin Sutton (43-3), of Richmond, defeated Hartnett by decision, 7-3.

Hartnett trailed the entire match after giving up two points in the first period. The junior was not able to get his offense going, said Morton wrestling coach Josh Prichard.

“He’s disappointed,” Prichard said. “We had high hopes that he could win this thing and there were a couple of things that didn’t go our way in the match.”

Despite the loss, Prichard is impressed with the way that Hartnett overcame a devastating injury during last year’s state tournament where Hartnett tore his ACL in the semifinals.

“To go from his injury to where he is at now is unbelievable to me,” Prichard said. “To fight and overcome that adversity is difficult to do. I don’t believe there are a lot of guys that could bounce back and do what he has done.”

After a sixth-place finish in 2016 and a second-place finish in 2017, Hartnett will have one more year to attempt to win the state tournament.

“He’s still a junior, so he has one more year to come back and try next year,” Prichard said. “That is exciting for the future.”