COLUMBIA • All three of the area's Class 1 title-match representatives brought home titles from the Missouri Wrestling Championships on Saturday at Mizzou Arena.
Four-time medalist Mike Kissell of Whitfield led the way, winning 8-6 over Penney's Matthew Scheiber for the championship at 160 pounds.
It was the second consecutive title for Kissell (53-0), who placed third in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
"I'm excited, and I'm also pretty relieved that it's over," said Kissell, who bumped up after spending much of the season competing at 152. "It didn't work out as well as we would've liked, but we hoped making the shift would give us a better chance at winning a team title. The guys I wrestled this weekend were stronger, so I had to be smarter. It was tough, but I'm pretty satisfied with the way I wrestled."
Kissell's freshman teammate, Rodney Hahn (49-6), capped a brilliant second half of the season, taking control early and rolling to an 11-3 victory over Brookfield's Micah Blakely in the title match at 135.
"I tried to give it my all through the whole match," Hahn said. "I think the difference was my mental preparation. The team captains did a good job getting me ready."
At 189, senior Josh Roometua (33-6) of Principia posted a solid 6-0 victory over Brookfield's Byron Clayton.
The team race
Three area squads — Whitfield, Francis Howell Central and Seckman — earned team hardware.
Capturing its fourth trophy in five seasons, Whitfield finished behind Brookfield in Class 1. The Warriors won titles in 2008 and 2009 and were runners-up in 2007.
"We had to make our breaks, and in some cases we didn't," Whitfield coach Charlie Sherertz said. "And Brookfield wrestled really well."
Howell Central improved from third in 2010 to second this year, finishing behind Blue Springs and ahead of Park Hill. Seckman placed fourth in Class 4.