Before the placing matches even begin, the Liberty High boys have all but officially won their third-straight state championship.
Heading into Saturday, the Blue Jays lead the Class 4 team standings by 91.5 points over second-place Seckman. The third-place team, Hickman, is one point ahead of Park Hill and 1.5 points ahead of Staley, which began Friday in second place.
Liberty has seven wrestlers in the finals, which will start at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Their seven finalists are Devon Harrison (106 pounds), Hunter Taylor (113), Christopher Coates (132), Kyle Dutton (145), Logan Rathjen (152), Jeremiah Halter (182) and Wentric Williams III (195).
Easton Hilton (138) and Peyton Westpfahl (160) lost their respective semifinal matches, but will be competing in the consolation bracket, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Park Hill has four wrestlers still competing in the tournament. The Trojans have two in the finals. Cael Keck (132) won his Friday matches by major decision (8-0) and sudden victory to earn a spot in the championship round. Kal Miller (145) won both of his Friday matches by tech fall, earning his spot in the finals.
Erik Egstad (106) and Kody Ketchum (138) will be competing in the consolation bracket Saturday morning. If they win, they’ll compete for third place, but a loss will send them to the fifth-place match in their respective bracket.
Staley has five wrestlers alive, but none in the finals. The Falcons sent three to the semifinal round, but all three lost their matches. The five Falcons who will be competing Saturday in the consolation bracket will be Zayne Reynolds (113), David Gleason (132), Merrik Murray (160), David Brooks (170) and Jack Stoffel (220).
The other KC area wrestlers who will be competing in the championship finals will be Fort Osage’s Colby Gray (120), Oak Park’s Paul Hernandez (182) and Blue Springs’ Brock Sullivan (285).
Mid-Buchanan’s lead narrows
The defending Class 1 state champions still have the lead in the team’s race, but it’s down to 10 points. Mid-Buchanan leads Centralia, 132.5-125, after Friday’s competition.
The Dragons have eight wrestlers still competing, with three advancing to Saturday’s championship round. Their finalists are Spencer Cunningham (106), Denton Biller (182) and Wade Stanton (195).
Mid-Buchanan lost three semifinal matches, but those three will join two more Dragons in the consolation bracket Saturday morning. The five Dragons remaining in the wrestle-back rounds are Dallas Grippando (113), Clancey Woodard (126), Colton Kirkham (160), Zach Kelly (170) and Seth Cruz (285).
Roosters send two to finals
Heading into the final day of competition, Pleasant Hill leads the Class 2 team standings. The Roosters led second-place Helias Catholic by just 1.5 points after Thursday, but they increased their lead to 20 points following Friday’s action.
Pleasant Hill has 10 wrestlers left in the tournament. The two Dragons who reached the finals are Sam Ewing (132) and Zach Redwine (160). Ewing pinned his quarterfinal opponent before winning the semifinals by an 11-4 decision. Redwine won by fall before a 3-1 victory in the semis.
The Dragons lost five other semifinal matches, but they will three teammates in the consolation bracket Saturday morning. The Dragons remaining in the consolation side of the tournament are Dalton Coe (126), Lane Snyder (138), Garrett Lyons (145), Ryan Volland (152), Brayden Bush (170), Jacob Hanes (182), Lane Brattin (195) and Sam McDowell-Driskell (285).
Park Hill girls move up to 5th place
After the second day of the state tournament, the Park Hill girls team jumped two spots into fifth place. The Trojans have three of their four wrestlers still competing.
Angelina Vargas won two matches Friday to find herself in the 115-pound championship finals. She’s won all three matches by fall, with the longest match lasting just 62 seconds.
Allison Gonier and Eve Herlyn are still alive in the consolation bracket, which begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. They will either compete for third or fifth place based on if they win or lose that first match Saturday.
Cameron is tied for sixth place with two wrestlers remaining in the tournament. Justice Brewer is 3-0 heading into the 149 finals, while Hollie Hedgpeth is in the consolation bracket heading into Saturday.
Other area wrestlers who are in the championship finals are Mid-Buchanan’s Haley Sampson (110), Harrisonville’s Chloe Herrick (120), Park Hill South’s Maddie Kubicki (141), Grain Valley’s Sevreign Aumua (149), Fort Osage’s Haley Ward (159) and Platte County’s KayLyn Munn (194).
A handful of other area competitors are still alive in the consolation bracket. They will each have two matches left in their season.