COLUMBIA, Mo. – Grain Valley will have all seven wrestlers alive as it enters the second day with a strong chance at a state trophy.
The Eagles totaled 21 points Thursday and are tied for fourth with Smithville and Washington behind Neosho (41), Kearney (27) and Willard (23) in the Class 3 Missouri State High School Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena.
In Class 4, Blue Springs had a nightmare first-round with only one winner and stands in a tie for 24th place with Fort Osage with only eight points.
Grain Valley had a big first round, with six of the seven qualifiers advancing to today’s quarterfinals with first-round wins Thursday. Trent Starr (120) and Mitchell Alexander (126) recorded first-period pins, while Wolfgang Clapper also earned bonus points for a second-period pin.
Caleb Benshoof (113) found himself down 6-1 but rallied to tie it and won a 13-8 sudden victory to advance. Tristan Lineberry (152) won a 6-4 decision, while Ralph Hernandez also gained a quarterfinal berth with an 8-3 decision.
Trent LeGrotte (132) suffered Grain Valley’s lone loss, but rebounded with a pin of Ladue Horton Watkins’ Kyle Cody to stay alive in the consolation bracket.
William Chrisman’s lone qualifier, William Fisher (182), fell only 8-4 in his first-round match to No. 1 seed Dennis Land of Fort Zumwalt South. But he was eliminated with loss to Neosho’s Johnny Meyer in wrestlebacks.
CLASS 4: Blue Springs brought seven state qualifiers but only Brett Heil (160) advanced to the quarterfinals. He pinned Ritenour’s Ryan Howerton in just 27 seconds to move on.
Cade Cox (220), Jett Merlo (138) and Tyler Collins (113) suffered first-round losses but were able to remain alive with wins in wrestlebacks. Collins won a 9-0 major decision over Jefferson City’s Sam Martin. Merlo eliminated Lee’s Summit North’s Jaden Duran with a 10-4 decision. Cox took a 7-3 decision over Shane Wiegand of Fox-Arnold to keep his hopes of a state medal alive.
Payton Price (145), Kody Rhodes (182) and Zach Hazen (195) each lost twice and were eliminated.
Fort Osage’s Elias Vaoifi (182) had little trouble advancing to the quarterfinals as all three of the Indians’ state qualifiers recorded first-round wins.
Vaoifi dominated Fort Zumwalt North’s Nate O’Neal for a 25-second pin in his first match.
Nick Wily (220) and Collen Divers (138) also advanced to the quarterfinals with sudden victories in their openers. Wily posted a 7-5 sudden victory win over Nixa’s Oswaldo Garcia, while Divers edged St. Louis Lindbergh’s Dawson Javier in an 11-9 sudden victory.
Truman’s lone qualifier, Chase Schroeder (170), suffered a 13-5 major decision loss and a pin and was eliminated.
Two of the five Lee’s Summit North qualifiers remained alive after all five Broncos lost in the first round. Hunter Ross (113) bounced back by pinning Park Hill’s Trey Safford in 2:42. Triston Jones (132) also stayed alive by beating Park Hill South’s Carter Thomas 13-8.
Duran (138), Alex Noble (106) and Alex Glynn all suffered two losses and were eliminated.
CLASS 2: Oak Grove has a leg up in returning to the top of the Class 2 team standings.
The Panthers hold a narrow lead in the team race, totaling 29.5 points to edge Mexico (29) and Savannah (28) for the lead after the first round Thursday.
Six of their nine qualifiers advanced to the quarterfinals with opening-round victories and eight of the nine remain alive after two of the three who lost won in wrestlebacks.
All six winners earned bonus points by recording pins, including three time state champion Connor Brown, who stopped Lavonte Hinkle of Miller Career Academy in 1:32 to advance. Tucker MacWilliam (113), Tanner Pavlica (126), Jacob Pavlica (160), Tyler Curd (220) and Austin Kemp (285) also won by fall. Kemp took just 51 seconds to stop Kennett’s Treyvon Lemons.
Keegan Scarborough (106) and Joel Martin (182) remained alive after first-round losses. Scarborough won a 17-2 tech fall over Sullivan’s Brendan Labbee, while Martin pinned Pleasant Hill’s Ryan Edenburn. Zach Kroah (145) lost twice and was eliminated.