COLUMBIA -- Sikeston's Gavilan Bland and Robert Madison both advanced past their respective first-round opponents in the MSHSAA Class 3 State Wrestling Championships on Thursday at Mizzou Arena.
Bland, competing in the 160-pound class, pinned Smith-Cotton's Corey Witt in 3:49. Madison, competing in the heavyweight division, pinned Holt's Andrew Hammond in 4:42.
Both wrestlers advance to today's second round. Bland (30-5) will take on Ozark's Devian Golden (32-2). Madison (27-6) will wrestle Zak Busch (36-4), of Kearney.
Sikeston coach Chris Crosby said he had a good feeling that his athletes would perform well on Thursday.
"They didn't seem nervous," said Crosby. "Both of them had a calm, but intense demeanor about them. They had a business-like attitude and I could tell that they were focused on what they had to do."
Bland also defeated Witt in last year's championships.
"He wrestled really well -- he wrestled really smart," said Crosby. "He had a really good match and was able to get the pin."
Crosby also mentioned that Madison, who battled injuries earlier this season, may have wrestled his best match of the season.
"He finally wrestled a complete match," said Crosby. "He took shots at him and wrestled a really smart match. He did a good job."
Also on Thursday, New Madrid County Central's three qualifiers were all eliminated in Class 1.
NMCC's A.G. Sanders (140 pounds) was defeated by Cameron's Ryan Mallen by pin in 3:20. Sanders than lost his wrestle-back match to Eric Markway of Blair Oaks by pin in 2:29.
DeAnton Brown (171) was defeated in a tough match by decision, falling 2-1 to Butler's Tim Simms. Brown then lost his wrestle-back match to Matt Zumalt of Lexington by major decision, 13-4.
Competing in the heavyweight division, D'Adrian Farr was pinned by Versailles' Zach Monroe in 32 seconds. Farr then lost his wrestle-back match to Gallatin's Logan Corwin by pin in 31 seconds.
In Class 2, Dexter's Matt Overall (140) lost his first match by pin in 3:19 to Oak Grove's Tyler Russell. However, Overall kept his hopes of placing alive when he pinned J.D. Meyer of Bolivar in 2:18 in his wrestle-back match.
Also, Dexter's Mikey Henley lost by decision in his first match to Marshall's Coldy Finnley, 6-2. But Henley regrouped to win his wrestle-back match, defeating Savannah's Tanner Aebersold by decision, 5-3.
In heavyweight, Dexter's Ben Vaughn was beaten by technical fall by Richmond's Zane Fields, 18-1. Vaughn was eliminated in his wrestle-back, getting pinned by Clinton's Brad Bullock in 2:30.