Clayton Singh is a senior and one of the leaders of Kearney’s wrestling team. As he saw his shot at a fourth state championship apparently slipping away on Friday, he didn’t want his teammates thinking he was losing his cool.
Even though he was.
“I was sweating,” Singh said. “Mental gears were just a-ticking, I was freaking out, and then I pulled it out.”
Singh’s quest to become the 27th wrestler in Missouri state history to win four state titles continues after he scored some late back points to win a 7-4 decision over Dalen Moore of Carthage in the Class 3 120-pound weight class semifinals on Friday night at Mizzou Arena.
Singh, who won the 120 weight class last season, entered the final period trailing Moore 4-1. With less than 40 seconds to go, he got Moore in a lateral drop to eke out the winning points.
“It wasn’t so much an act of desperation that I had a feel I could do it,” Singh said. “He stood up right into it, he was off-balance and I just went, and it was perfect.”
The semifinal round had been far from perfect for Kearney up to that point. After advancing five into the semifinals, Singh was one of three Bulldogs to get to the finals. Coby Aebersold reached the 145-pound final when he scored late for a 5-1 sudden victory over Trent LeGrotte of Grain Valley. Brett Mordecai will go for the 195 title after beating Lewis Caples of Raytown South 3-0 in the semis.
“It was sad watching two kids from my team right before me lose,” Singh said. Being the leader I had to go out there and make something happen.”
Kearney coach Jake Hill admitted his heart was beating a little faster during Singh’s match. And while the Bulldogs didn’t match their quarterfinals success, Hill still felt it was a good evening for his team.
“It’s the state tournament, so anybody in the finals is a good thing,” Hill said. “We brought down nine guys and got nine medals. That’s a good place to be.”
Streaks on the line
Brett Campbell of Summit Christian Academy will be riding a 115-match win streak into today’s Class 1 220-pound championship match. Campbell went unbeaten in winning last year’s Class 1 182 title, and he’s 60-0 this year after taking a 13-4 major decision over Colten Kenady of Buffalo in the semifinals.
Jeremiah Reno of Liberty is 45-0 after advancing to the Class 4 106 final. Devin Winston of Park Hill (47-0) of Park Hill will wrestle for the Class 4 182 title, and Zach Elam of Staley (53-0) advanced to the Class 4 220 final.