COLUMBIA - The Blair Oaks Falcons want to bring home their first wrestling state trophy.
And after having nine of their 10 qualifiers make it to the second day of the three-day tournament, the Falcons have their goal in sight.
"We wrestled real well," Blair Oaks coach Tim Karsten said after the Falcons wrapped up the first day of the Class 1 State Championships on Thursday at Mizzou Arena.
Blair Oaks is in third place in the team standings with 28 points. Brookfield and Whitfield are tied for first with 36.
The Falcons wanted all 10 wrestlers to advance to today's rounds, but Payton Lackman was battling some tough competition as well as an illness.
"Payton was a little sick today," Karsten said. "I think he could have won his wrestleback round if he hadn't been sick."
Lackman lost his opening-round 112-pound match to Ryan Strope of Fatima. Strope, who remains undefeated at 35-0, won by technical fall. Lackman then lost 6-3 to Cole Whitaker of Penney in the first wrestleback round.
It was the only hiccup in a day that started off on the right foot for the Falcons when Cole Kemna pinned Lucas Jones of Brentwood in the first period of his 103-pound match.
The Falcons also had some help at the weigh-in, as two of the Falcons' opponents didn't make weight at the tournament.
"Cole started it off for us," Karsten said. "And we had a little help from the scale."
Craig Clark won his 160-pound match because Monteze Latimore of Cleveland NJROTC didn't make weight. Alex Adam won his first-round wrestleback match at 125 due to Marshall Woolsey of St. James not making weight.
Logan Mudd, Brett Thomas and Caleb Roberts cruised in their opening-round matches. Mudd won 14-3 over Bryar Ginther of Stanberry at 119, while Thomas pinned Derick Noblet in 3:55 at 152. Roberts had Dakota Trenton in a 10-0 hole before he pinned him with one second left in the second period at 171.
Blair Oaks wanted a surprise. The Falcons got one in Kevin Adam.
The 140-pound senior trailed 2-0 in the third period against Jason Walls of St. James before getting a stalling point. Adam then scored a reversal with five seconds left to secure a 3-2 win.
"He kept it in a position where he could win, and he snatched right at the end," Karsten said. "That's what we needed."
Aaron Strope of Fatima won 5-0 over Eli Roberts at 145, but the Blair Oaks wrestler bounced back in his wrestleback round with a 4-1 win over Alex Beck of Lafayette County.
The Falcons' Derek Otto had an early 2-0 lead against Brad Williams of Albany at 189, but Otto got caught in a reversal before Williams pinned him in the first period.
Otto came back in the wrestleback round and pinned Hayden Summers of Carrollton in 2:25.
The Falcons have six in the quarterfinals, which begin at 9:30 a.m. today, followed by second-round wrestlebacks. The semifinals begin at 6 p.m.
"We're about where we needed to be," Karsten said. "Anytime you can get into the next round, you're pretty pleased.
"We'll see how many semifinalists we get. If we get more than three, I'll be more than pleased."
The Fatima Comets entered the championships with six wrestlers, but ended the first day with just three still alive.
Ryan Strope and Aaron Strope advanced to the quarterfinals with their aforementioned wins at 112 and 145, respectively.
Luke DeOrnellis dropped his opening-round match to Nathaniel Conant of North Platte by technical fall at 119. He bounced back in his wrestleback match with a 4-3 win over Bruce Fair of Trenton.
Sam Stiefermann (130), Dalton Schroeder (171) and Joshua Swyers (215) failed to advance to the second day. All three were pinned in their wrestleback matches.
Fatima is in 29th in the team standings with 6.5 points.
The Versailles Tigers are in the top 10 in the Class 1 team standings after the first day, as they sit in ninth place with 19.5 points.
Versailles had six of its eight qualifiers advance to today's rounds.
Paul Janes (112), Ely Roberts (125) and Isiah Clark (135) captured first-round wins.
Janes won by technical fall over Rashaad Jordan of Brentwood, while Roberts pinned Brian Erstand of St. Mary's: Independence in 3:03. Clark pinned Sterling Steele of Gallatin in the first period.
Mitchell Dornan (130), Lucas Bell (171) and Stephen Nickels (215) are still alive after getting pins their first-round wrestleback matches.
Mathew Nienhuis (160) and Wesley Davidson (285) failed to advance to the second day after losing their first two matches.