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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Bland finishes fourth at state

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sikeston's Gavilan Bland puts his finger to the air, knowing the results of his 8-6 victory over Brandon Crandall Saturday.
COLUMBIA -- Sikeston's Gavilan Bland finished a stellar high school wrestling career with a fourth place finish at the State Wrestling Championships at Columbia.

Bland, wrestling in the 171 pound weight division, went into Saturday knowing that he could finish no lower than sixth but could finish as high as third.

In his first match Saturday, against Brandon Crandle of Neosho, Bland used good technique and strength to post a hard-fought 8-6 win.

The win put Bland in the third place match against Brian Tucker of Holt, who had beaten Dan Schreimann of Warrensburg earlier in the day. On Friday, Schriemann narrowly defeated Bland, 6-5, knocking the Sikeston senior from state championship contention.

Bland and Tucker locked up in an intense battle, with Bland taking a 5-4 lead in the third period after an escape. However Bland was then taken down and turned over for a near fall late in the match and the Sikeston senior could never recover.

Bland finishes the season with a record of 39-5.

Poplar Bluff's Paul Swesney won an 11-5 decision over Kearney's Dillon Brink in the third-place match for Class 3 189-pounders. The win marked the second consecutive state medal for Swesney.

Jackson's Blake Peiffer defeated Raymore-Peculiar's Kris Shuey by fall in 1:29 for fifth place.

Peiffer was the only junior in the Class 4 215-pound division to place and also was the only wrestler in that bracket to finish the season with 50 victories.

His teammate, Justin Miller, lost a 5-1 decision to Ben Giesler of Fox in the fifth-place match for Class 4 152 pounders.

The SEMO News Service contributed to this report.