Poplar Bluff boys win team wrestling title at St. Charles; Grace Kearby's title leads girls to third place

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Poplar Bluff didn’t have an individual champion but placed six wrestlers in the top three of their weight class as the Mules claimed the team title at the St. Charles Invitational on Saturday.

Grace Kearby won an individual title with a pin and Katlyn Pickard reached the final as Poplar Bluff finished third as a team on the girls side.

Gatlin Taylor, Gavin Hicks and Preston Taylor all wrestled for a title in their weight class while Lucas Robertson, Davion Steele and Desmond Howell each finished third for the Mules.

Poplar Bluff had 198 points while Troy Buchanan, which featured two champions and a pair of runner-ups, was second at 160.5. Liberty-Wentzville (145), St. Charles (139) and St. Clair (136.5) completed the top five in the 21-team tournament.

“No champions, but a well-rounded effort,” Poplar Bluff coach Kelton Thompson said.

The host Pirates won the girls title with 215.5 points followed by St. Clair (134), Poplar Bluff (106), McCluer (94) and Ft. Zumwalt North (90.5).

Kearby reached the final at 235 pounds with a 6-3 win after opening with a pin in 2 minutes, 53 seconds. The sophomore pinned McCluer sophomore Emma Shoults at 1:52 in the championship match.

Pickard earned a pair of pins to reach the 187-pound final before getting pinned at 2:34 by Olivia Schiffer of St. Charles.

Breann Thresher had three pins, including two after getting beat in the quarterfinal to reach the third-place match at 103 pounds. Paige Earls also placed third at 130 pounds after leading her semifinal match before getting pinned with 52 seconds left.

“Good to see them in a field that big and compete,” Thompson said. “They’re starting to get a little more confidence.”

Poplar Bluff’s boys had 20 pins —second to Liberty’s 22 — to win the title by 37.5 points even though Troy, St. Charles and St. Clair each got one more wrestler to the finals.

Gatlin Taylor reached the 106-pound final with a pain of pins in 68 and 69 seconds. The sophomore, who improved to 21-2, fell behind on an early takedown and could not get any separation from the bottom position and St. Clair freshman Ryan Meek earned a 4-0 decision.

At 113 pounds, Hicks won 12-0 and 9-7 to reach the final before Liberty freshman Aidan Kelly earned a 9-2 victory.

Preston Taylor got pins at 1:56 and 1:32 but was pinned in the 285-pound final at 4:43 by St. Charles senior Michael Smith. It was Taylor’s second loss of the season.

Steele and Howell each lost their semifinal matches 7-5 but bounced back to take third place. At 170, Steele got a pin at 3:35 while Howell’s pin came at 4:20 in his 195-pound match. Robertson won 5-1 in the 132-pound third place match after losing 6-5 in the quarterfinal.

Quinten Bell, Ben Colclasure and Justin Mitchell each finished fourth after getting beat in the semifinals.

Bell, who had two pins, rebounded from his 138-pound semifinal loss with a 5-3 win before getting pinned at 5:22 by University City’s Jalen McKee (20-3).

Colclasure also had a pair of pins but lost 9-6 in the semifinal before getting pinned at 5:22 of the 145-pound third place match by Wright City senior Bobby Ulloa (26-9).

Mitchell was pinned in his 160-pound semifinal but had two pins before getting pinned in the third place match at 2:32.

Riley Sater placed fifth with a pin in 52 seconds at 182 pounds.

Dace Wisdom, Seth Barris and Gavyn Hays all placed sixth. Hays suffered an injury in his 220-pound semifinal. Thompson said the junior was held out as a precaution with the conference tournament coming up this week.

Alexis Rowland placed fourth in the girls’ 125-pound division while Demi Wisdom placed fifth at 166 with a 5-2 decision.

BOYS - Poplar Bluff 198; Troy Buchanan 160.5; Liberty-Wentzville 145; St. Charles 139; St. Clair 136.5; Benton 113.5; Ladue 99.5; Brentwood 81.5; Chaminade 80.5; University City 75; Warrenton 72.5; Priory 59.5; Wright City 59; Winfield 47; Pattonville 44; Orchard Farm 41.5; MICDS 29; STEAM Academy 21; Clayton 19; McCluer 18; Mexico 0.
GIRLS - St. Charles 215.5; St. Clair 134; Poplar Bluff 106; McCluer 94; Ft. Zumwalt North 90.5; Troy Buchanan 79; Brentwood 74; Ft. Zumwalt South 73; Benton 57; Ladue 50; Ft. Zumwalt East 48; Pattonville 39; Liberty-Wentzville 37; St. Charles JV 34; Clayton 32.

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