The Gateway Athletic Conference has always been known for its fierce competition when it comes to wrestling and this year was no exception. In the past, the GAC has proven to be the training grounds for both World Champions and Olympic Wrestlers alike.
The Troy Buchanan Wrestling team showed up to the GAC tournament with several vacancies in their line-up. This tournament also served as the last chance for wrestlers to certify at a particular weight class meaning some had to battle the scale long before getting to their opponents on the mat.
Despite some disappointing losses in early matches and injuries that kept some wrestlers from competing, Troy’s wrestlers fought hard and were able to bring home some hardware.
Senior 126-pound wrestler, Colt Shuman, returned to the mat at the GAC tournament after overcoming a concussion sustained earlier in the season. Unfortunately Shuman collided with an opponent during an early match causing a large split in his lip. He pushed through the pain and eventually won the match but he had to leave the tournament to get stitches in his lip.
Alec Seely, a senior at the 138-pound weight class, wrestled hard all day but took a loss in the semifinals. From there, Seely battled back to take third place with a 5-2 win over his opponent.
In the 160-pound class, senior Kurtis Meyers made it to the semifinals where he took a loss. He wrestled back to the match for third place. However, he was unable to compete for third after sustaining a knee injury that kept him out of competition and Meyers took a respectable fourth place.
Wyatt Hayes, a senior at the 170-pound weight class, won a battle with the scales before the tournament that threatened to keep him out of competition. After winning the battle with his weight Hayes lost his first match due to a regretful series of events. After his first loss Hayes went on a mission eventually beating the opponent that beat him in the first round 11-2 to take third place.
Devin Graves, a sophomore at the 220-pound weight class, has worked hard this season making vast improvements. Graves made it to the semifinals where he took a loss and wrestled back and eventually beat an opponent who had beat him earlier in the season 2-0 for third place.
There is always room for improvement, and the coaches are constantly working on technique, conditioning and motivation. The competition will only continue to intensify for the Trojans has they work towards their goal of the state competition only a month away.