The battle for Class 4’s 126-pound championship turned into an ironman contest.
In one of the top all-around matches on the night, Nixa’s Joe Velliquette outlasted Waynesville senior Lemuel Johnson in a grueling matchup that went to an ultimate tiebreaker.
Velliquette would ride out Johnson to claim his third overall medal and second straight gold.
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The match was scoreless entering the ultimate tiebreaker. Velliquette won the coin flip and, after mulling the decision over with his coaches, decided to take top.
Velliquette would maintain his position for the entire 30 seconds to earn the winning point, as more than 10,000 fans looked on at the only 126-pound match still going.
Velliquette and Johnson are no strangers on the mat. The pair split two meetings during the season and also wrestle together on a club team with Johnson’s younger brother.
“’I’ve wrestled a lot with them and I respect them,” said Velliquette, who won gold at 106 in 2012. “When it goes into (overtime), it’s just totally personal and I want it more than him. I dunno… we’re not friends at that point. We’re just in there trying to win.”
Johnson appeared to have scored a takedown late in the sudden victory (first overtime) period. But the officials decided time had expired before Johnson scored and the two points were taken away.
“You see it go both ways some times,” said Nixa coach Dustin Martin. “Hat’s off to the officials for getting together and making sure on the call. From my spot, I was pretty certain it was 0-0, but I was also wanting it to be 0-0.”
Running on fumes, Velliquette got a second chance. The contest lasted through two more 30-second tiebreakers into the ultimate tiebreaker.
“I didn’t know what I thought,” Velliquette said of his near-loss in sudden victory. “I was hoping it wasn’t over. Then again, I was kind of hoping it was over because of how tired I felt. I was exhausted. I left everything out there.”
Added Martin: “Johnson has a unique body style. He’s got long arms, and big, strong hands. He can control your wrists and take away the things you want to do.”
The Ozark Tigers had two seniors win gold in Cody Lindsay and John Oss. Both finish the season with undefeated records.
Lindsay earned a 5-0 decision over Eureka’s Matt McClimens at 195. It’s the second gold medal for Linsday, who won the 171-pound division in 2011.
Last year, however, Lindsay was third in 182 after losing to McClimens in the semifinals.
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“It was a big deal to me to get that rematch,” said Lindsay, adding that he had beaten McClimens twice during the 2012-2013 regular season. “It’s varied each match, but I’m happy with this one.”
Lindsay was in control of the match but had a brief scare when he knocked heads with McClimens during an errant re-start.
“I went in for a shoot, and he lowered his head and we collided,” Lindsay said. “It caught me offguard. I was a little dazed. I had to regroup myself.”
Oss got his fourth pin this weekend, defeating Timberland sophomore Chance Cooper to win the 170-pound championship.
Oss needed a little longer to pin Cooper than his first three bouts, which all ended in the first period. Oss pinned Cooper with 28 seconds remaining in the third period. At the time, Oss led 7-0.
“I wanted that pin. I pinned my way to the finals and I just didn’t want to stop there,” Oss said. “I thought I might as well get one more pin.”
Kickapoo’s Michah Foote came up short in his quest to bring home the first gold medal to a Springfield school in over a decade. Foote lost 5-1 to CBC’s Tim Gant in the 220 final.
Kickapoo claimed a bronze medal thanks to Tony Grant. The Chiefs’ sophomore beat Timberland’s Robert Schneider in the 195 third place match.
Waynesville junior Isaiha Johnson finished fifth at 113, beating Timberland’s Aaron Beckmann 6-0. WHS senior Todd Magoon (138) settled for sixth place after falling to Jackson’s Tyler Rush by an 8-3 decision.
In a local heavyweight clash, Waynesville’s Jacob Semple wasted little in beating Nixa’s Xyah Ra. Semple pinned Ra in 21 seconds to finish third in the 285-pound division.
Elsewhere for the Eagles, sophomore Stanton Finley (106) lost via pinfall in his fifth-place contest.
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Class 4 team socres
1. Park Hill 156.5 2. Blue Springs 124.5 3. Timberland 96.0 4. Holt 88.5 5. Park Hill South 83.0 6. Waynesville 71.0 7. Seckman 62.5 8. Ozark 61.0 9. Hickman 59.0 10. Rock Bridge 53.5 11. Nixa 53.0 12. Francis Howell 50.0 13. Christian Brothers College 43.5 13. Jefferson City 43.5 15. Jackson 42.0 15. Mccluer North 42.0 17. Kickapoo 36.0 18. Rockhurst 31.0 19. Ft. Zumwalt West 30.5 20. Francis Howell Central 30.0