Columbia headlines the Midlands contingent at the Class 2A-1A state wrestling tournament this weekend at the Civic Center of Anderson. Four Capitals earn state invitations at the Upper State qualifying meet last week. There are only three other Midlands qualifiers.
The Capitals state lineup features sophomore Mikael Nelson, juniors Randy Medina and Nate Harper and senior Anthony Thompson. Nelson, Medina and Thompson made the cut for the second year in a row. The idea this time is to secure state place finishes, at the very least.
Nelson sports a 25-3 record and is ranked No. 5 at 119 points by scvmat.com. Medina is 39-2 and ranked third at 125. Harper is 38-5 at ranked No. 4 at 140. Thompson is 33-5 but is No. 4 at 145.
Otherwise, Mid-Carolinas B.J. Gibbs, Erau Claires Alex Capewell (215) and Gilbert freshman Madison Leitner (103) round out the Midlands qualifying cast.
Gibbs, the most successful wrestler in the three-year history of the M-C program, get one last shot at striking state gold. Gibbs took home silver medals in 2009 at 215 and at 285 a year ago, and sports a 94-7 career record. He is ranked No. 1 at 285 and enters state with a 25-1 season record.