Darlington Classic

Darlington's Dalton Blankenship (top) battles Model's Walker Byrd for the 113-pound title at the Darlington Classic wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, at Darlington School. (Steven Eckhoff/RN-T.com)

The action has been non-stop at the Macon Centreplex in the last two days, and a large group of area athletes are setting themselves apart from the best of the best.

Nearly 30 wrestlers from around Rome and Floyd County are still alive in the GHSA Traditional Wrestling State Tournament, and about half of them are in line to compete for the top prize — an individual state championship.

In Class A, Darlington has all four of its state qualifiers — Dalton Blankenship (113 pounds), Colton Woods (126), Davis Peek (132) and Rhett McDurmon (145) — in today’s finals, which begin at 3 p.m. for all classifications.

Competitors had to win their first two matches Friday to advance to the championship match, while those with one loss were able to wrestle their way through the consolation bracket.

Trion will have three — Cole Luallen (138), Jake Wells (182) and Logan Blevins (195) — contend for a state title today, while five more Bulldogs have a chance to finish in the top five.

In Class AA, Pepperell’s trio of seniors — Jaxon Croy (145), Jake Ross (170) and Hinton Bolinger (285) — all advanced to the finals after going 2-0 on Friday.

Armuchee’s Jacob Henderson is back in the state finals at 182 pounds after coming in second last season. The Indians’ Wesley Conley will meet a familiar opponent in the 113-pound championship match today, as he’ll face Model’s Walker Byrd, who also advanced to the finals.

Armuchee’s Trace Daitz (152) will compete for a third-place finish today, while Riley Purdy (106) and Luke Purdy (126) wrestle to try and earn fifth in the state in their respective divisions.

Chattooga still has four wrestlers competing, led by Griffin Jarrett (106) and Alex Mears (220), who made their way into today’s finals. Austin Jones is in the third/fourth-place match at 195 pounds, and Efrain Hernandez will be competing for fifth at 170. Rounding out Class AA is Rockmart, who will have 132-pound wrestler AJ Streetmen competing for a state championship today, while the Jackets’ Truett Bowman (120) is set to wrestle for a fifth-place finish.

Meanwhile, Ivan Arguello is still alive for Rome in Class 5A after he lost in Friday’s semifinals at 106 pounds. He rose back through the consolation rounds and will compete for third place today.

Fifth/sixth-place matches start today at 10 a.m., while the third/fourth-place matches are set to begin at 11:30 p.m.