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Saturday’s Excelsior Springs Tournament proved to be a measuring stick for the Spartan wrestling team as they prepare for the stretch run. With the road to the state tournament just a few weeks away, coach Ken Simmons was able to see what areas his Spartan squad needs to work on.
“This was a good tournament to show where we need to improve,” he said. “With the districts approximately a month away, we need to focus on weak areas to get ready for trying to qualify for the state tournament.”
Colby Bowles had the highest finish for Richmond in the “A” pool. The Spartan sophomore split his four matches to place third in the 189-pound bracket with one of his losses coming to the Class 1 defending state champion, and his other setback to the top-ranked Class 2 wrestler. One of his two victories came over the No. 2 ranked wrestler in Class 2 from St. Joseph Benton, which also avenged a loss to him in December.
“He had a really tough bracket,” Simmons said. “He has shown why he is one of the top guys in the state at 189.”
Bowles improved to 16-5 for the season with 13 falls.
Another sophomore, Reny Reis captured fourth place at 140 as he put together a 2-3 mark. There were three state medalists, and two other state qualifiers in Reis’ bracket as he improved to 15-7 with 9 falls. Alex Luman also went 2-3 for the day as he earned sixth place at 285. Simmons said Luman, a freshman, continues to show improvement each time out as he recorded a pair of falls over potential district opponents.
Also wrestling for Richmond in the “A” pool were Dalton Daily at 103, Jake Vandiver at 135, Eric Wilson at 152, and Tyre Winfrey at 215.
“They found the going tough – failing to win a match against some tough competition,” Simmons said.
Chris McFall won four of his five matches at 119 in the “B” pool for Richmond, while Preston Maples earned a split at 125. Kane Southwick won one of his four matches at 145.
The Spartans will be at Carrollton Tuesday night for a double dual with the Trojans and Cameron. The match with Cameron will be a makeup for the earlier scheduled match that was postponed due to snow on Dec. 18.