COLUMBIA, Mo. - The better days may indeed be ahead for the Jefferson City Jays wrestling program. But the last three have been pretty good.
The Jays finished with four medalists in the Class 4 state championships that concluded Saturday night at Mizzou Arena. One - Corbin Howard - is a junior. The other three - Jacob Brune, Logan Moriarity and Jalen Martin - are sophomores.
"They're all going to be back," Jays coach Phil Cagle said. "And that's something we can look forward to."
Moriarity was the top finisher of the foursome, taking third at 145 pounds despite battling an illness for the past few days.
"Logan missed a day of practice during the week because he wasn't feeling well and he's not feeling all that great today," Cagle said.
Moriarity, who posted a 7-1 victory against Jesse Reser of Fort Osage in his wrestleback match Saturday morning, squared off against Canten Marriott of Park Hill in the third-place bout.
The match was scoreless after the first period. And after the second period. And after the third period. In the one-minute overtime, Moriarity got a takedown with :25 remaining for a 2-0 victory.
"Logan is a very smart wrestler," Cagle said. "He always knows how much time is left, the right body position. And I think that paid off today."
Moriarity (44-4) moved one spot up the medal stand after finishing fourth at 120 as a freshman.
Martin, who opened Saturday with a win by fall against Carson McCord of Jackson, met Rourke Penn of Fort Zumwalt West in the third-place match at 170.
Penn picked up a first-period takedown and finished with a 7-0 victory against Martin.
"As a sophomore at 170, what Jalen accomplished at the state tournament was outstanding,' Cagle said.
Martin finishes at 46-4.
Howard and Brune both finished fifth at their respective weights.
Howard picked up a takedown and a set of near fall points in the first period on his way to a 9-4 victory against Daktoa Thevel of Northwest: Cedar Hill in his final match at 120.
Cagle said Howard was wrestling with torn cartilage in his chest, suffered in his quarterfinal match Friday afternoon.
"Corbin, like all of our guys, is tough and will fight to the end," Cagle said. "He showed that in this tournament."
Howard finishes at 42-8.
Brune, at 132, won his fifth-place match by injury default against Mason Mitchell of Francis Howell to finish his season at 46-7.
Three other Jays qualifiers also figure to be back at the state tournament - freshmen Dennis Barnes at 106 and Christian Mayberry at 126, along with junior Logan Coil at 285.
"A lot of the guys we lost to were seniors with a lot of experience," Cagle said. "That's going to be us pretty soon."
The Jays finished in 14th place with 49.5 team points.
Park Hill won the team title with 132 points. Rock Bridge came in second with 126 and Timberland placed third with 101.
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