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.”

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

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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.

Eli Stickley of St. Paris Graham wrestles Seth Beard of Napoleon at 106 pounds during the semi-final round of the Ohio high school wrestling championships at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus on March 1, 2013. Staff File

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