Lake Fenton's Todd Melick has been so close to state title, but never able to claim one for himself. He has been so close to being called a state champion, it almost hurts.
The Blue Devils senior had to settle for runner-up honors in the Division 3 119-pound weight class Saturday during the Michigan High School Athletic Association Individual State Wrestling Finals at the Palace of Auburn Hills. It was the second time he's been a runner-up. He has also finished third and fourth at the individual state meet, but never has been a state champion.
He also was part of the Lake Fenton wrestling team that finished second in the state last season. Melick watched his older brother Justin,
"I thought I had it this year," a distraught Melick said after the match. "I was close, but not quite."
He lost 10-7 to Richmond's Stephen Ireland in the state title match. Ireland took a 4-0 lead early with a takedown and reversal and held the lead through the match.
"He was a lot stronger than I thought he was," Melick said.
Ireland, 24-3, missed a lot of season because of a shoulder injury and all three of his losses came by defaults.
"I prepare myself to be stronger than their strengths and I try to capitalized on their weaknesses,” Ireland said.
Melick finished the season at 47-4.
Melick won his first match Thursday by forfeit. He won his second match with a 9-0 major decision against Remus-Chippewa Hills' Caleb Jernigan and advanced to the final Friday by pinning Richmond's Nick Burg.
Melick placed third in the state in the same 119-pound weight class last season. He was the state runner-up in 2010 in the 1120pound weight class for Detroit Catholic Central. He took fourth for DCC at 103 pounds in 2009.