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Murphy, Ortiz Win At Kinloch Classic

by SPECIAL TO MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS | January 6, 2022 at 5:38 a.m.
Al Gaspeny/Special to McDonald County Press McDonald County wrestling coach Josh Factor watches the action during a Nov. 30 meet in Rogers, Ark. He saw his team finish sixth in the standings at the 54th annual Kinloch Classic last week in Springfield.

McDonald County wrestlers ended 2021 in style during the 54th annual Kinloch Classic at Parkview High School in Springfield.

Sophomore Samuel Murphy won the 220-pound weight class, and junior Blaine Ortiz took top honors at 132 in the Dec. 28-29 tournament.

"This is the first individual tournament championship this season for both Samuel and Blaine," Mustangs coach Josh Factor said. "But they both won this tournament last year as well."

McDonald County junior Levi Smith placed second at 152. Smith defeated North Point's Jackson Sapp by a 9-5 decision in the semifinals. Sapp is a two-time state qualifier, Factor noted.

"Levi Smith had a great tournament," Factor said.

The Mustangs' Jayce Hitt was third at 285. The sophomore posted a 4-2 win over Reeds Spring's Eben Crain, who was fifth in the state last year in Class 2, Factor said.

"That was a great season debut for Jayce and great to have him back in the lineup," Factor said.

McDonald County finished sixth in the 21-team event with a total of 172.5 points. Ozark (395.5) was the winner.

"As for our team the rest of the season, we have to get better at scoring takedowns," Factor said. "Our freshmen are going to have to step up and play more of a role in the team's success if we are going to be a team that competes for hardware this season."

In girls action, sophomore Gisel Aragon went 4-1 and finished second at 174 in the third annual Lady Vikings Holiday Tournament at Parkview on Dec. 28.

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