Standout Graham wrestler, Urbana native dies in crash

A University of Wisconsin wrestler and Urbana, Ohio, native was killed following a Thursday evening car crash in Illinois.

Eli Stickley, 21, was a former standout wrestler at Graham High School and a state champion in 2014. He also is the nephew of U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana.

The University of Wisconsin Athletics released a statement Friday announcing Stickley’s death: “Our hearts are heavy today. The entire Badger Athletics family extends its most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of junior Eli Stickley, a student-athlete with our wrestling team, who passed away last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with Eli’s family, friends, teammates and coaches.”

The university’s athletics department placed a banner of Stickley at the top of their website.

A starter at 141 pounds for Wisconsin during the 2017-18 season, Stickley finished 21-14 and qualified for the NCAA Championships.Stickley was a four-time state placer at Graham and finished his high school career with a 185-22 record.

According to Indiana State Police, Stickley was driving a black 2004 Nissan Frontier, headed west on Interstate 74 in Henry County. The Nissan left the road into a right-hand-ditch, overcorrected and rolled across the westbound lanes of traffic.

Stickley and a passenger, who was not identified, were taken to Illini Hospital in Silvis, where Stickley was pronounced dead.

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