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Bland, Madison qualify for state meet

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

FARMINGTON -- Two Sikeston High School wrestlers qualified for state with third-place finishes at the Class 3, District 1 meet on Saturday.

The top four in each weight class move on to the state meet which opens on Thursday at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Robert Madison, District 1's No. 2-seeded heavyweight, advanced through the wrestleback for a 6-2 decision over Nick Lance of Rockwood Summit for third place.

In his opening match, Madison defeated Cameron Stulkey of Gateway with a second-period pin, then later pinned Amil Bequette of North County in 23 seconds of the first period.

Madison, ahead on the scorecard late in his third match, dropped a close 13-11 decision to Will White of Pacific to fall into the wrestleback round where he decisioned Poplar Bluff's Dylan Janes, 9-7, to secure a spot in the third-place match.

Gavilan Bland, the fifth-seeded 160-pounder, also had to advance through a wrestleback.

Bland, avenging an earlier loss to Hillsboro's Josh Sheppard, opened the tournament with a 9-4 decision over the No. 4-seeded Sheppard, then lost to top-seed Curtis Tucker of De Soto by a 12-7 decision.

In the wrestleback, Bland recorded a technical fall (16-0) win over Clayton Stark of Washington to earn a spot in the third-place match in which he again faced Sheppard.

Bland responded with a 9-2 decision over Sheppard to earn his trip to state.

Other Sikeston participants in the district meet, Nick DeLaRosa at 112 pounds and Logan Berry at 140, failed to qualify with losses in their first two matches.