Photo by Mark Lundy. 2024 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Kansas City, MO.

Former Missouri Wrestlers Battle at NCAAs in Kansas City

While most people from Missouri who attended the NCAA tournament in Kansas City followed the Mizzou Tigers and their wrestlers, there were several other native Missourians wrestling in the NCAA tournament as well.  While Mizzou has several former Missouri High School wrestlers such as the Elam brothers, it was a homecoming of sorts for seven other NCAA qualifiers.

Kai Orine, Kal Miller, Ethen Miller, Gaven Sax, Teague Travis, Vinny Zerban, and Trevor Tinker all grew up in Missouri and had a chance this past weekend to perform in front of the home crowds.  

Kai Orine, a Redshirt Junior from NC State, graduated from Seckman High School.  He previously qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2022 and came into this year’s tournament seeded 3rd.   He wrestled very well on Day 1 and won both matches by a score of 12-0, including one bonus point win.  His Friday morning quarterfinal match-up would be against the eventual champion of the weight class Vito Arujau.  

Vito, even though seeded below Orine, proved he was the returning champ and was very stingy on giving up points and scored 13 on Orine, sending Kai to the consolation side of the bracket.  Kai would face Penn State’s 133 lb, in the blood round.  After 2 periods of wrestling, Kai managed to score a takedown and a set of nearfall points to lead by a score of 7-1.  Nagao would close the gap with a takedown late in the third period but Orine was quick to react scoring a reversal.  With the riding time bonus, Orine won 11-4 and earned All-American honors…

Yes, there's even more!
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Written by Jonathan Bowen

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