Jays trio set to begin quest for state wrestling titles

Cole Baumgartner of Jefferson City (left), shown here wrestling Keegan Loyd of Joplin in last weekend’s district tournament at Fleming Fieldhouse, will be bidding for his fourth state individual medal at the Class 4 championships.

Cole Baumgartner of Jefferson City (left), shown here wrestling Keegan Loyd of Joplin in last weekend’s district tournament at Fleming Fieldhouse, will be bidding for his fourth state individual medal at the Class 4 championships. Photo by Stephen Brooks.

It can be hard to ignore the elephant in the room.

It can be even harder to grab the elephant by the trunk and make it go away.

But that’s just what Jefferson City High School seniors Jared Johnson, Cole Baumgartner and Hunter Neighbors intend to do as they prepare for the Missouri State High Activities Association Wrestling Championships.

The elephant? The three wrestlers have combined for more than 500 wins in their high school careers, but state titles have eluded all three. The focus? Kicking the elephant to the curb and standing atop the medal stand Saturday night.

Three of the all-time winningest wrestlers in program history will take to the mats for the final time beginning at 5 p.m. today at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

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