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by Mark Cheffey
Two PHS wrestlers earned state medals, including Collin Arch, who won his third state title in three tries during the MSHSAA Wrestling Championships in Columbia over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Luke Triplett took third place in his weight class during his final state run as a senior.
Two other wrestlers did not medal including Brayden Pillars and Elly Lorenson, in their first trips to state as freshmen.
In Class 1 team competition, Palmyra finished 10th with 53 points, to give the Clarence Cannon Conference three teams in the top 10.
Centralia finished second with 152 points, 19 behind first-place Mid-Buchanan, and 45 points ahead of third-place Brookfield.
Arch dominated the 138-pound weight class, earning pins in his first three matches before defeating a familiar foe in the title match.
Facing off against Hunter McAtee, who he defeated in the district title match the week before, Arch earned a tough 9-2 decision to earn his third-straight state title.
“It is amazing what Collin has been able to do over his past years at Palmyra,” said acting head coach, Tyler Krietemeyer. “I have
never witnessed a kid stay undefeated for three consecutive years at anything and it is a true testament to his work ethic and drive to be the best.”
Arch advanced to the title match with a win by fall at 1:49 over Central New Madrid’s Gavin Colbert in Round 1, by fall at 1:10 over Mid-Buchanan’s Clayton Dotterman in the quarter finals, and by fall at 3:17 over Brookfield’s Davan Pam in the semifinals.
Arch is now primed to seek a fourth title as a senior next year, when he could complete his high school career undefeated in the state.
Meanwhile, Triplett came close to reaching the finals in the 220-pound weight class, but fell in the semifinals by a 3-2 decision to Trenton’s Caleb Johnson.
Triplett bounced back to win his consolation bracket semifinal match by a 10-2 decision over Fisher Nixdorf of Penney, and then his third-place match, by a 2-1 decision over Adrian’s Jence Griffith.
Triplett opened his state competition with a win by fall at 2:25 over Mid-Buchanan’s Owen Stockbauer and a win by fall at 3:53 over Adrian’s Griffith in the championship quarterfinals.
“Luke has overcome a ton in his senior season at Palmyra to get to the this point,” Krietemeyer said. “It is a true testament to what kind of young man he is to see how hard he works on and off the mats.”
Pillars reached the consolation quarterfinals of the 132-pound class before falling out of the competition with a 4-2 decision to Maysville’s Draken Bennett.
Pillars lost his first-round match in a 9-7 decision to Holden’s Logan Yoder, before battling his way back with a win by fall at 2:45 over Lawson’s Dalton McNeal in first round of consolation and a win by fall at 4:36 over Lathrop’s Keaton Coots in the second round.
“Brayden has drilled with Collin all year and has taken coaching really well,” Krietemeyer said. “Anytime you can qualify for state as a freshman you are doing something right.”
Competing for the first time in the girls state championships in the 141-pound weight class, Lorensen lost both of her matches, by an 8-4 decision to Park Hill’s Eve Herlyn and by fall at 0:49 to Ladue’s Scarlette Maier.
“Elly has been dominant all year as a freshman,” Krietemeyer said. “She has worked super hard and always wants to learn more.
“She has battled through a few tough injuries that might have ended the season for some kids, but she has met the challenge and been very successful.”