MIAMI — Joplin returns to defend its title for the Miami Wardog Wrestling Invitational.
The 48th edition of the tournament — one of the oldest in the state — runs Friday and Saturday at the Miami Activity Center.
Joining the Eagles include seven Oklahoma schools — Miami, Pryor, Wagoner, Sallisaw, Grove, Inola and Tulsa East Central — and four teams from Kansas: Independence, Columbus, Coffeyville and Caney Valley.
Wrestling begins at 2 p.m. Friday then resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday, capped by the championship matches.
Joplin, with three individual winners, two runners-up and six other placers, rolled up 445.5 points and outdistanced 2014 champ Pryor by 45.5 points.
Cushing was third with 354.5 points and Tahlequah A placed fourth with 341.5 points.
Miami was sixth with 332.5 points.
The Eagles return three state qualifiers who placed here at the 2015 meet, including Jacob Bartlett, who won the 160-pound bracket here.
Also back are Solomon Garcia, third at 182, and Bobby Owens, fifth at 138.
The title was the second for Joplin. Its first was in 2008.
The best showing for the Wardogs last year came from T.J. Griffith, who was second at 138.
Trestin January of Jay scored an 18-0 technical fall against Griffith in the finals.
January also won 18-0 against Griffith in pool competition.
Cooper Stone was third at 106 pounds while Caden Collins and Kobe Scott were fifth at 146 and 160, respectively.
For just the second time in the tournament's 48-year history, Joplin has captured the title at the Miami Wardog Invitational wrestling tourney.
“We had a good weekend,” Joplin coach David Myers said. "It’s still very early. We have had a lot of good success so far. We're fixing those little things.”
This was the Eagles' best showing thus far. They were second in the Northwest Arkansas Invitational.
“This gives us some momentum,” Myers said.
The Eagles' only other MIT title came in 2008.
“The work ethic is there,” Myers said. “The toughness was here this weekend. We wrestled tough”
Heading up the list of placers for Joplin was Phillip Reitz, who pinned his way to the heavyweight title. Reitz also won the Glen Reding pin award for logging six falls in 6:53.
The Eagles other winners were Zachary Phillips at 106 and Jacob Bartlett at 160.
Placing second were Terrell Crawford, 170, and Jayden Withrow, 220, and third-place finishers were Skye Paulk, 152, and Solomon Garcia, 182.
Others placing for Joplin were Treyvan Jackson, fourth, 113; Bobby Owens, fifth, 138; Ty Paulk, seventh, 120, and Nathan McCauley, eighth, 145.
Others placing for the Wardogs were Jordon Freeman, sixth, 113; Michael Horn, seventh, 170; Devon York, eighth, 120; Ian Stone, ninth, 126; Callan Cox, ninth, 195; Caden Glover, 10th, 182; Irvin Myers, 10th, 220; Tanner Payton, 11th, 152; Raymond Sharp, 12th, 285.
Miami is idle until Tuesday, Jan. 5, when it hosts Grove.