In the fall of 2014, Quinn Kinner entered his freshman year with some expectations. A top-notch wrestler in the junior circuit, true wrestling fans knew he would make an impact on the Kingsway program immediately, much like his brother Trace had done the previous year as a freshman superstar for the Dragons.
Quinn certainly did not disappoint as he racked up District and Region titles before finishing fifth at the state championships.
Fast forward to his senior year, Quinn was able to handle the pressure of expectations, as he concluded his Kingsway career with some staggering statistics.
He won the Beast of the East and Escape the Rock titles, which annually go to some of the top wrestlers in the US.
He won his fourth District 29 title.
He won his fourth Region 8 title, being one of only 22 boys in South Jersey history to do so. He was named as the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament.
He defeated Jake Benner of Ocean Township 11-2 to win his second straight state championship. Benner was the defending state champion at 138 pounds. He is the 34th wrestler in South Jersey history to win two state titles. For his efforts, he was named Most Outstanding Wrestler for the state tournament.
During his senior campaign, he compiled a record of 44-0.
He ended his career with a record on 169-6, winning the final 76 matches.
Quite simply, Quinn Kinner stamped himself as not only the greatest wrestler in Kingsway storied history, but also as one of the best in the US. As a matter of fact, he currently is ranked as the top wrestler in the country in his weight class.
“I don’t believe Quinn felt any pressure of being “the man” this year,” said Coach Mike Barikian. “After winning a state title as a junior, he set a goal to be the number one wrestler in the country at his weight. Although Quinn was confident in his abilities and was very highly regarded, he remained driven to continue improving.”
He will represent the US Team at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic just a few days after winning his state title. He has committed to wrestle collegiately at Ohio State University, a program that recently finished a close second place at the NCAA Division 1 Championships.
“I’ve been a high school coach for two years, and it’s possible that Quinn may be the best wrestler I’ll have the privilege of coaching,” said Barikian. “While his career at Kingsway is coming to an end, his career as a wrestler has a lot of life left.”
“I hope the impact he has on Kingsway Wrestling will be even greater in the future than it was as a wrestler,” Barikian continued. “He has the potential to be an invaluable resource for our program by paving the way for those who are coming behind him and continuing to share the knowledge and wisdom he’s going to develop in the years to come.”
That is what truly historic athletic careers do. They leave an indelible mark in the past, present, and future.
By Christian Lynch