On March 24 and 25, 1,055 youth wrestlers from across the state faced off at the Hearnes Center in Columbia in the Missouri USA State Wrestling Championship Tournament.

On March 24 and 25, 1,055 youth wrestlers from across the state faced off at the Hearnes Center in Columbia in the Missouri USA State Wrestling Championship Tournament.

Only the top 16 wrestlers in each age and weight category have a chance to battle their way to the medal stand. Eastern Jackson County was well represented in the competition.

The Independence Wrestling Club produced a pair of fifth-place finishers as 8-year-old Kyle Dutton competed in the 55-pound class and 14-year-old Zach Soule wrestled at 235.
Elias Vaoifi (12 years old), out of Fort Osage, was second at 125.

Grain Valley had a pair of 8-year-olds place sixth in Cameron Mickelson (70) and Ethan Carey (85). Team Missouri Underground, also out of Grain Valley, produced a fourth-place finisher at 110 in 12-year-old Ralph Hernandez III.

MO West Wrestling, out of Blue Springs, saw plenty of stellar finishers with Joe Goetz (14, 284) and Shawn Kavadas (12, 110) winning their respective divisions. Michael Infranca (8, 80), Anthony Mabery (12, 120) and Jesse Jeffries (14, 120) each finished second while Bret Heil (12, 100), Nick Wily (12, 135), Jet Tryon (14, 80) tallied third-place finishes. Joshua Barnes (14, 175) ended fourth and Conner Lamphier (14, 130) came in fifth while Collen Divers (14, 100), Jesse Reser (14, 135) and Gabe Thielbar (8, 65) both came in sixth.

Blue Springs South’s Sean Stewart (10, 170) notched a second-place finish.