EXCELSIOR SPRINGS – Oak Grove will have nine wrestlers, five of them district champions, going to Columbia to defend the team’s Class 2 state title after the Panthers won the District 4 tournament at Excelsior Springs High School.
The Panthers outdistanced Smithville 204.5-190 for the team title. Van Horn will have two wrestlers going to state, as the Falcons finished eighth in the 14-team field with 57.5 points.
Connor Brown (106 pounds), Shawn Kavadas (126) and Tyler Brown (132) won by decision in their respective championship bouts, Skyler Jackson (138) won major decision and Bryce Mercer (145) recorded an injury default.
Landon Cairer (152), Dalton Brinegar (170) and Preston Airington (195) each finished second – Airington dropped his championship bout in overtime – Brock Mercer added a third at 120 to also qualify for state.
Also for Oak Grove, Jet Tryon (113), Tristan Stack (160) and Josh Klipper (220) lost in the consolation semifinals, one win short of going to state.
Van Horn’s Sylvester Newman (138) and Carlos Cubas (182) won their consolation semifinals to punch a ticket to Columbia. Cubas won his third-place match by pin, while Newman was edged 14-13 and finished fourth.
“It’s the first time in three years we qualified anyone,” Van Horn coach Jeff Tolbert said. “I am extremely proud of the effort of those two wrestlers.”
The Falcons’ Marcus Wilkins (126), Michael Duncan (132), Tyler Horton (152) and Junior Ulberg (285) lost in the consolation semifinals.
CLASS 3 DISTRICT 4: Five Grain Valley wrestlers qualified for state, led by 113-pound champion Wolfgang Clapper, as the Eagles claimed fourth out of 14 teams in the tournament at Staley High School.
Clapper (32-5) capped his tournament with a 5-2 decision over Platte County’s Mathew Barmann. Mavrick Alexander (126) also reached the championships before falling to Kearney’s Seth Brayfield. Harrison Bamman (120), Joey Sodano (182) and Zach Jones (195) each won four consolation matches to secure third place.
The Eagles’ Angel Hernandez (138) and Parker McBride (170) lost in the consolation semifinals.
Staley won the team title with 252 points, followed by defending state champion Kearney (211) and Platte County (133). Grain Valley edged Warrensburg 106.5-105 for fourth.