A bundle of wrestling state-championship hardware made its way back to Kansas City last weekend.
Kansas City area wrestlers totaled 20 individual championships Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. They accounted for 45 percent of the gold medals in Class 4, Class 3 and Class 2. Park Hill (Class 4) and Oak Grove (Class 2) repeated as team champions.
Another 14 wrestlers from the area placed second in their respective weight classes.
The success of Kansas City wrestlers is no coincidence.
“We see all the toughest teams in the regular season,” said Oak Grove senior Bryce Mercer, who won the Class 2, 145-pound division. “So when we come out here, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.”
That led to a memorable weekend.
Here are a few quotes to help us best recap the championship round on Saturday:
• “I feel like I’m on cloud nine right now. There’s no better feeling than this. I’ve said all year that I was going to come and win state, and everyone doubted me. I can’t even believe it right now. It’s just absolutely amazing.” ... Blue Springs South junior Christian Boyles said moments after an overtime victory in the Class 4, 220-pound championship bout.
• “I was heartbroken last year. I have not stopped thinking about it since that day. I’ve been writing down my goals every day. It’s finally here. That’s really (sweet).” ... Lee’s Summit West junior Austin Eveler, who won the Class 4, 132-pound class after placing second last season.
• “I had something planned, but I froze up out there. I was going to salute the stands. I froze.” ... Blue Springs senior Michael Pixley of his lack of celebration after winning his second straight Class 4, 195-pound championship.