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Malott will earn hardware in 4th state trip
Darlingtons Devin Malott tussles with Brock Kasten of Brillion during the 119-pound quarterfinals of the WIAA Division 3 Individual State Wrestling Tournament. Malott won, 5-3, but lost in the semifinals. He will wrestle for third place today.
MADISON - Darlington senior Devin Malott isn't satisfied with being the winningest wrestler in school history.

Malott, the first four-time state qualifier in school history, wanted to bring home that medal that has eluded him his previous three trips to the WIAA Division 3 state tournament. Malott lost a hard fought battle, 6-2, in the semifinals to Cornell-Gilman senior Corey Hodowanic Friday night at the Kohl Center. After a win in the quarterfinals, he is still in contention to wrestleback for third place.

"In the past three years, my goal was to be a state champion," Malott said. "After three years of getting beat by the eventual state champion or state runner-up, my goal is to just bring home hardware. As long as I bring home a medal, I will be feeling good. Whatever happens from here is icing on the cake."

Hodowanic (41-2), who is ranked second in the Wisconsin Wrestling Online Division 3 poll, jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead after scoring on a takedown. Malott (39-3), ranked fourth in Division 3 at 119 pounds, came through with a reversal at the end of the first period to tie it at 2.

Hodowanic answered with a reversal with 1 minute, 22 seconds left in the second period to take a 4-2 lead.

"Truthfully, I think if I could have just opened it up I could have triggered some things and I definitely could have contended more. That deep thigh was like nothing I have felt before. I was just concentrating on breathing. I kind of mentally got broke down."

Darlington coach Tom Mathias credited Hodowanic for setting the tone.

"He kind of took us out of our offensive game plan on our feet with his physical wrestling," Mathias said. "That's where we needed to score some points."

Malott's 5-3 win over Brillion sophomore Brock Kasten in the quarterfinals assured him of a medal at state.

Malott fell behind 1-0 in the quarterfinals to Kasten when he was called for a penalty after his legs scissored around Kasten's head.

"He shot in and I didn't sprawl enough," he said. "When I gave up one point on my own mistake, I really needed to pick up the pace."

Malott didn't waste any time picking up the pace. He scored on a takedown and near fall at the end of the first period to take a 5-1 lead.

Malott is confident he will rebound in the wrestlebacks today.

"It's a little disappointing," he said. "I know I'm definitely a contender. I'm gunning for that third-place match and hoping for the best."