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Eight Farmington wrestlers survive opening day at state tournament

COLUMBIA – The Farmington wrestling team finds itself in seventh place overall following an excellent opening day at the Class 3 state tournament at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. The Knights’ composite score of 23 is just eight points off the leading pace set by Park Hill (31).

Farmington was especially impressive in the lightweight and heavyweight divisions on Thursday, as five of its nine representatives successfully won their first-round matches.

Sophomore Craig Wilson, a favorite to challenge for the individual title at 119 pounds, improved his individual record to 49-0 with a 15-7 tech fall victory over Camron Zufelt of Waynesville.

In the 103 weight class, freshman Bradley Wisdom made quick work of Nixa’s Justin Dodson with a pin in 49 seconds, and Justin Hill at 135 squeaked past Patrick Collins of Ladue with a 5-4 decision.

Jacob Hise (215) needed just 20 seconds to pin Nick Dotson of Springfield Hillcrest, while Tyler Epstein (275) continued his strong comeback from injury with a 13-5 major decision over John Carrell of Belton.

Farmington will send eight wrestlers to battle today after three more Knights rallied from early adversity to score wins during the wrestleback session.

Nicholas Hoehn (130) lost a narrow 3-2 decision in his first match, but survived day one with a 3-1 win over Jimmy Manaska of St. Charles West. Michael Zaricor (140) suffered a similar setback with a 7-6 loss in his first contest, but pinned Kyle Melton of Belton in 3:54.

Kevin Pothetos (152) was overmatched in an 18-2 tech fall loss to Andrew Wood of Hannibal, but came back to defeat Rolla’s Bret Smith by fall in 3:51. Sophomore Kendall May was eliminated from the meet after losing twice by first-period falls.

North County managed to notch 14 team points with a five-man contingent. Freshman Cody Compton (130) improved to 34-1 on the season with a fall in 3:04 over Zane Hauck of Lee’s Summit West, and junior Jason Winckel (171) manhandled Charlie Gilstrap of Helias for a pin in 33 seconds.

Joining Compton and Winckel as quarter-finalists for the Raiders is Cameron Dugger (145), following a victory by fall over Darren Heaton of Smith-Cotton.

Jake Vogt advanced in the 140 consolation bracket with an 11-3 major decision over Ladue’s Kyle Smith after being pinned during his first match of the day. Freshman Tayler Decker (135) fell victim to a pair of second-period falls.

Class 2 district champion, Ste. Genevieve saw only four of its nine qualifiers, including three seniors advance past the first round, but each did so in impressive fashion.

Tanner Wolk, who won an individual state championship as a sophomore in 2004 before taking second place last year, kept his perfect season rolling at 52-0 in the 189 division by pinning Jheron Nunnelly of Mexico in 42 seconds.

Taylor Huck (171) improved to 50-2 by dominating Riley Glasgow of Oak Grove to win by fall in 1:10, while fellow senior Curt Gegg (119) secured a fall over Dustin Hill of Fulton in 3:29. Junior Adam Johnson (135) covered James Barry of Marshall in 1:24 to advance.

Vince Wolk and John Vogt each suffered first-round losses for the Dragons, but stayed alive in the tournament with victories in the opening round of wrestlebacks.

Wolk (140) lost by tech fall, 18-3 to Jake Hunter of Harrisonville, but bounced back to earn a 7-5 decision over Kent Miller of Mexico. Vogt (152) was the victim of a narrow 3-2 decision against Moberly’s Alonso Spiller, but prevailed 4-2 against Cole Bond of Nevada.

Ste. Genevieve freshmen Chris Petty (130) and Gary Schenz (112), and sophomore Tyler Thomure were each defeated by opponents from Platte County while seeing their respective state runs end with back-to-back losses.

Platte County holds a solid lead in the Class 3 team standings after day one with 34 points, followed by Odessa with 25 1/2, and Moberly with 23. Ste. Genevieve stands in a tie for eighth with Carl Junction at 18 points each.

The remaining hope from Central for a state medal is senior Branden Lindsey, who surged into day two with a victory by fall in 2:58 over Matt Brown of Benton. Rebel junior Mike Carlyon lost by a 14-0 major decision in his first contest, and was then eliminated by a 9-2 decision.

Action resumes today with quarterfinals and wrestlebacks for all classes throughout the morning and afternoon. The pivotal semifinal matches are slated to begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. tonight.

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