A large group of Joplin area high school wrestlers advanced to their respective state tournaments with their performances on Saturday at sectional meets.
At the sectional, the top three finishers in each weight class advanced to the state tournament.
The state tournaments will run from March 9-13 and will be held at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence.
CLASS 4: EAGLES, TIGERS ADVANCE TO STATE
OZARK, Mo. — Competing in Class 4’s Sectional 3 at Ozark High School, Joplin and Carthage combined to advance eight athletes to the state tournament on March 13.
The Eagles had two state-qualifiers.
Sam Melton advanced to state by finishing as the runner-up at 106 pounds. Waynesville’s William Austin earned a 3-1 decision over Melton in the bracket’s title bout.
With a trip to state on the line, Josiah Vaughn won the third-place match at 132 pounds. Vaughn earned a 4-1 decision over Jefferson City’s Hunter Walling.
Sectional qualifiers who were unable to record a top-three finish were Rocky Walker (126), Drew VanGilder (170), Scott Lowe (195) and Gunner Price (285).
VanGilder and Price both advanced to the consolation semifinals, where they suffered season-ending setbacks.
The Carthage Tigers had six wrestlers advance.
The Tigers had two individual champions—Davion King and Luke Gall.
King was the champion at 145 pounds, pinning Ozark’s Brock Sundlie in the title bout.
In the 182-pound title bout, Gall earned a 6-2 decision over Raymore-Peculiar’s Coleton McElliott.
Dagan Sappington was the runner-up at 132 after falling in the title match to Ozark’s Elijah Maskrod.
Advancing by winning third-place matches were Bradyn Tate (113), Eli Sneed (138) and Braxdon Tate (152).
Another Tiger came up one win short of moving on, as Carlos Reyes fell in the third-place match at 120 pounds.
CLASS 3: NEOSHO, CARL JUNCTION, WEBB CITY WRESTLERS ADVANCE TO STATE
WILLARD, Mo. — The Joplin area had a solid showing at the Class 3 Sectional 3 tourney at Willard High School.
The Neosho Wildcats had eight wrestlers advance to state, while McDonald County had four athletes move on to the state event on March 12.
Carl Junction and Webb City had two qualifiers apiece.
Claiming sectional championships for the Wildcats were Raymond Hembree (106), Hayden Crane (132), Cayden Auch (160) and Jeremiah Larson (195).
Auch is now 46-0 this season, while Larson is 41-0.
Finishing second in their brackets were Landon Kivett (120), Trent Neece (152) and Eric Holt (170).
Eli Zar won the third-place match at 145.
Carl Junction’s Jesse Cassatt was the champion at 182 pounds, improving his record to 46-0. Cassatt beat Rolla’s Hayden Fane 6-3 in the title bout.
Lukas Walker won the third-place match at 106, beating Willard’s Noah Agcaoili 6-0.
Falling short in a deciding third-place match at 145 was Cole Stewart.
Max Matthews (113), Keaton Colburn (120), Dylan Frazier (126), Dexter Merrell (138), Lucas Watkins (152), Chance Benford (170), Cayden Bolinger (195), Brennan Carey (220) and Kameron Bennett (285) competed, but were unable to advance.
Jacob Ott was the runner-up at 195 pounds. Ott dropped a 7-1 decision to Neosho’s Larson in the title bout.
Webb City’s Roger Carranco won the third-place match at 182 pounds with an 8-4 decision over Glendale’s Colman Ebisch.
Also competing but unable to advance were Colton Taylor (120), Dominic Boles (132), Brayden Hollingsworth (160) and Jackson Ward (170).
McDonald County’s Blaine Ortiz was the champ at 113 pounds, improving to 31-2.
Levi Smith was the runner-up at 132, while Jayce Hitt took second at 285. Also moving on was Sam Murphy, who placed third at 220.
Murphy edged Neosho’s Jacob Fry 3-2.
CLASS 2: SENECA ADVANCES EIGHT
SENECA, Mo. — Seneca is sending eight athletes to the Class 2 state tournament on March 11.
Competing in Class 2 Sectional 3, Seneca’s Brady Roark (106), Kendon Pollard (126) and Zane Cotten (195) gave the Indians three individual champions.
Roark improved his season record to 40-1, while Pollard is 28-2 and Cotten is 31-1.
Clayton Swadley (145) and Gabriel Commons (170) finished second in their respective brackets.
Winning the crucial third-place matches for the Indians were Brayden Thiel (120), Andrew Manley (132) and Dane Napier (182).
Jakob Tate finished fourth at 220.
OTHER AREA QUALIFIERS IN CLASS 2
Monett, Cassville and Nevada also had top-three finishers on Saturday at Seneca High School.
Monett’s Elias Barrientos was the champ at 152, while Ethan Umfleet took first at 182 and Harrison Merriman was the champion of the heavyweight division.
The Cubs’ runners-up were Simon Hartline (106), Ben Bluel (132) and Corbin McCully (160), giving Monett six qualifiers.
Cassville’s Zach Coenen was the champion at 220 pounds, improving to 25-3, his team’s lone qualifier.
Cassville’s Gabe Hunter (138) and Jake Anthonysz (145) fell one win short of advancing.
Nevada’s Kynndrick Brooks placed third at 106, while Braylin Brooks took third at 113, giving the Tigers two qualifiers.
CLASS 1: THREE FROM DIAMOND MOVE ON
VERSAILLES, Mo. — Competing at Class 1 Sectional 2, Diamond’s Landon Clement was the champ at 182, while teammate Tyler May was the runner-up at 220.
Ty Douglas was Diamond’s third qualifier. He finished third at 195.
STATE WRESTLING SCHEDULE
The girls tournament will be held on March 9.
As far as the boys tournaments, Class 1 is slated for March 10 and Class 2 is March 11. The Class 3 event is March 12, with the Class 4 event to be held on March 13.
Matches begin at 9:30 a.m. each day, with championship matches scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.