Pae, McClure pursue titles at 126, 145

(Update: Cody Pae captured his first-ever state title at 126 pounds in Class 2 with a dominant 7-0 decision over John Burroughs senior Cory Lester late Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, Zack McClure came up short in his bid to join Pae as a state champion, losing a 4-2 decision to Excelsior Springs junior Brennan Johnson in their title match at 145 pounds. For complete coverage, see Tuesday's edition.)

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COLUMBIA — Cody Pae was emphatic and Zack McClure dramatic.

Pae — Fulton’s 126-pound junior — and McClure, his 145-pound senior teammate, took distinctly different routes in arriving at the same destination — state championship matches.

Pae and McClure secured spots in Saturday’s state finals after collecting Class 2 semifinal victories Friday night at the 82nd MSHSAA Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena.

Pae (38-1) advanced by throttling Harrisonville freshman Ty Cochran, eventually pinning him in 2 minutes, 35 seconds. Meanwhile, McClure (30-2) moved on by furiously rallying from a one-point deficit with both a takedown and near-pin with less than 10 seconds left in his match to jolt Odessa junior Evan Young in a 6-3 decision.

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