CAPE GIRARDEAU – The Farmington Knights brought home the SEMO Conference Championship Trophy on Jan. 23 after a grueling two days of wrestling matches between the 12 conference schools.
The Knights led by only a half point over the Jackson Indians after the first day of competition, but picking up needed points in the preliminary and fifth through eighth place matches on Saturday, they stretched the gap a little wider prior to the championship and third place round.
Jackson actually obtained the lead briefly by a half point late in the final round, but Devin Savage recorded a fall in his 285 match to secure the win for the Knights with a final tally of 363 points to Jackson’s 356.5. Sikeston placed third with 260, Ste. Genevieve was fourth at 249.5 and North County finished 11th with 69.
Farmington’s last tournament championship was in 2011 before Jackson won it for three straight years. The Knights finished the tournament with all 14 wrestlers placing in the top eight in their respective weight classes.
Four Knights claimed first place in four weight classes, they placed second in four more and also won two thirds during the final round. Jackson also had four individual champions with Ste. Genevieve and Sikeston claiming two each and Windsor and Dexter with one apiece.
Bradley Harman (113) claimed the Knights’ first gold as he managed a couple of near falls to defeat Jackson’s Hunter Clardy by a 15-4 major decision. William Seibert (152) also hindered Jackson’s chance as he bested Gabe Dudley with an 8-5 decision in their championship bout.
Colin Huitt (170) scored the only takedown of his championship match with Ryan Yarnell of Windsor. Huitt scored the takedown in the third period for a 2-1 win after both wrestlers had recorded one escape each from their down position in the last two rounds.
Savage (285) finalized the championship round with a fall of Poplar Bluff’s Josh Lewis early in the third period with a time of 4:12.
The Knights won a string of second-place finishes at 132, 138 and 145. Ross Felker lost by fall in the 132 championship match, Dylan Allen (138) lost an 8-3 decision, and Cameron Haines (145) lost a 5-4 decision in the first tiebreak period after managing an escape to tie the score at the buzzer to end regulation.
Jared Nickelson (220) lost a heartbreaker in his championship match on a 3-1 decision in the sudden victory period.
Jacob Oyler (106) won his third-place match with a 5-3 decision, and Ian Asher (120) also captured third as he dominated his match for an 11-1 major decision.
Brady Rowl (126) placed fourth, Alex Greco (160) and Aaron Wilson (182) both won their respective fifth-place matches by fall, and Jonathon Russell (195) finished in eighth place.