COLUMBIA — The Blair Oaks Falcons went to the Class 1 state wrestling championships with six qualifers. They'll return home with three state medalists.
The Falcons fell short of advancing to a state title match for the third straight season, but they have three wrestlers still competing for a chance at third place following Friday's second day of action at Mizzou Arena.
Blair Oaks had two wrestlers reach the semifinals during the morning bouts.
Junior Caleb Meeks pulled off a second straight upset in the quarterfinals, winning a 12-8 decision against fifth-ranked Kyle Sizemore of Lawson at 132 pounds. Senior Ben Thomas also secured his first state medal with a 7-1 win against Polo's Joseph Hilburn, ranked No. 4.
Kyler Griep, a junior, lost by fall in 3:59 to Lathrop's Dorian Walters at 170. Griep is ranked No. 6 and Walters is ranked fifth.
In the morning's wrestlebacks, the Falcons finished 2-2.
Sophomore Levi Haney won by fall in 3:28 against Hamilton-Penney's Lane Horinek at 152, while Griep bounced back with a pin in 59 seconds against Brookfield's Dawson Baker.
In Blair Oaks' other second-round wrestleback matches, senior Jayce Griggs lost by fall in 1:42 to Lawson's Garrett McCutchen at 120, while sophomore Eli Batiste dropped a 5-3 decision to Hancock's Ashton Wynn at 145.
Griggs finished the season with a 29-26 record, while Batiste was 37-22.
In the bubble match in the third-round wrestlebacks Friday evening, Haney lost by fall in 3:16 to Lathrop's Tyler Paul, falling one win short of a state medal. Haney ends the season with a 32-12 record.
Griep secured his state medal with another pin, this time in 2:15, against Holden's Forrest Hertzog.
In the semifinals, Meeks held a 4-2 lead after two periods, but Polo's Wyatt Segar — ranked No. 4 — rallied with seven points in the third period for a 9-7 win.
Thomas dropped a 3-2 decision in overtime to Whitfield's Chase Brock, who recorded all of his points on three escapes after Thomas scored an early takedown.
Thomas (42-4), ranked No. 2, will face Plattsburg's Klayton Kennedy in the fourth-round wrestlebacks, which are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. today.
Meeks (47-9) will take on Lathrop's Andrew Beane (43-9), while Griep (33-3) will face top-ranked Zachary Russell (14-3).
Following the fourth-round wrestlebacks, Griep, Meeks and Thomas will wrestle for either third- or fifth-place. Those matches are scheduled to start at noon.
Entering today's matches, Blair Oaks is 13th in the Class 1 team standings with 39 points.
Whitfield is in first place with a commanding lead of 166.5 points, 60.5 better than second-place Lathrop. Seneca is third with 100.5 points and Marceline is fourth with 92.