Wrestling fans from across the state speckled the typically gold-filled seats of Mizzou Arena all day on Thursday for the 81st Missouri State Wrestling Championships.
It took eight simultaneous matches at a time, but all four different classes completed their first round matches and also their consolation (wrestleback) rounds.
“There are a lot of logistics that go into it,” said Jason West, Communications Director of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. “We have over 1,600 matches over the next three days. There are four classes. There’s a lot of planning.”
Midway through the first day of competition, West said he felt like everything was running smoothly.
“The good thing is that this particular championship is at the point where it’s sort of a well-oiled machine now,” West said. “It’s more of planning logistics to just make sure the dominos fall the way they’re supposed to.”
It also requires a large number of workers to come in and make sure the various operations run efficiently.
“There are approximately 65-70 different workers and volunteers,” West said. “We’ve got mat officials, table officials, people entering computer stats and other things like that. There’s a lot of volunteer work as well.”
After a long day of grappling, here’s how O'Fallon-area high schools fared on Thursday:
Fort Zumwalt North – In 16th place with 12 points.
Both Zach Nelson and Cole Reedy won their opening bouts. Joel Lauer, Blake Thomas, Justin Manzella, Darian Jones Ryan Roth and Nathan Helmig all lost in their first efforts.
Fort Zumwalt West – Tied for 14th with 12 points.
Ryan Kiethline was the only first-bout winner for Fort Zumalt West. Jesse Czerniewski, Cody Zeik, Jordan Young and Travis Wheatley all lost.