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Cook, Boyd propel Knights to conference crown

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Farmington Wrestling

The Farmington boys wrestling team had two individual champions among four finalists, and captured its first SEMO Conference tournament title since 2016 on Saturday in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. – Standout seniors Blake Cook and Dayton Boyd figure to remain medal contenders for Farmington next month at the Class 3 state wrestling tournament.

Their individual bracket titles on Saturday helped the Knights capture their first SEMO Conference meet championship since the 2016 season.

Zach Dennis and debuting freshman Presley Johnson also advanced to finals in their respective weight classes, and Farmington ultimately withstood Jackson by 26 points.

Hillsboro, which handily defeated Farmington during a December dual, finished third among 15 teams with Poplar Bluff and Ste. Genevieve rounding out the top five.

Cook celebrated a 5-0 run at 132 pounds with five consecutive falls, capping his repeat with third-period victories over decorated opponents Gavin Gross of Ste. Genevieve and Gavin Hicks of Jackson.

Boyd (113) topped the podium with a similar 5-0 run. He rolled through four rounds on first-period falls, then improved to 34-2 this season with a 10-2 major decision over Gatlin Taylor of Poplar Bluff.

Dennis and Johnson were each 3-1 with two falls in contested bouts to place second. Jackson Tucker of Hillsboro derailed the title hopes of Dennis (126) via pin.

Johnson (120) breezed through the quarterfinal stage with a 19-4 technical fall, and handed only the second defeat this season to Central star Austin Hassell before losing 5-0 against Hillsboro’s Gavin Alexander.

Farmington secured the necessary points to maintain its lead when Trace Dunlap (145), Drew Felker (152), Rowdy Vaugh (195) and Peyton Simily (285) prevailed in third-place matches.

Dunlap punctuated his 5-1 weekend with a fall against Kolton Boylan of North County, and suffered his only loss to Lucas Robertson of Poplar Bluff by narrow 5-4 decision.

Felker followed a similar 5-1 path, notching three falls and two major decisions of 16-5 and 10-0 along the way. Evan Morris of Hillsboro edged Felker 4-2 in the semifinal round.

Vaugh collected his third fall of the tournament for a 4-2 record, and Simily went 5-1 following four falls plus a 3-1 triumph in his third-place match.

Nate Schnur (138) took fourth at 3-3, including two losses to Evan Winters of Ste. Genevieve, and defeated Joshua Tesreau of Central and Dane McCoy of North County.

Ethan Turner (160) also landed fourth at 4-2 for the Knights while Trenton Mattingly (106) won a 4-3 decision in his fifth-place bout.

The tournament featured separate titles last winter as schools were divided by enrollment size. Ste. Genevieve won the battle of teams from MSHSAA Classes 1-2.

The Dragons missed out on individual crowns this time, but Ethan Ogden secured second place at 170 pounds while winning four of his five matches.

He surged past William Rodgers of Farmington 8-1 in the quarters before earning a superb fall against Potosi senior Levi Courtney with 16 seconds left in regulation. Logan Hite of Poplar Bluff blanked Ogden 9-0 for the title.

Winters (138) emerged from a loaded schedule 6-1 with four consecutive falls, and became the first Ste. Genevieve wrestler to 30 wins this season after topping Schnur for third.

Ste. Genevieve was collectively 1-4 in third-place bouts as Karter Worley (106), Bryant Schwent (113), Gavin Gross (132) and Levi Wiegand (152) each lined up fourth.

Schwent had the best winning percentage from that group, going 4-2 with a semifinal loss to Boyd. Worley finished 3-2 with three falls.

Wiegand amassed four pins, and sustained a 10-0 shutout against Felker among his three defeats. Gross was edged 2-0 by Blake Jackson of Hillsboro in their third-place clash.

Gabriel Willett (182) and Ryan Schmelzle (285) salvaged fifth-place victories for the Dragons.

Aiden Martinez (220) highlighted the Potosi contingent with a 7-4 triumph for third place. He was 4-1 for the event with two falls and a 16-3 major decision.

Courtney (170) settled for fifth despite securing four falls over six matches for the Trojans.

Hassell (120) received byes all the way to semifinal round for Central, and sandwiched two technical falls around his rare setback against Johnson for third place.

Boylan had the strongest result for North County in fourth, going 3-3 in six contests.

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