KANSAS CITY — Grayston DiBlasi continued a bit of family tradition on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Thanks to a third-place finish at the Class 4 District 4 meet at Oak Park, the Park Hill sophomore locked up a berth to the state finals.
The trek to the Missouri State High School Activities Association’s 89th annual wrestling championship will mark a decade of DiBlasis going to the state tourney.
This time, he will wrestle, instead of watching one of his older brothers compete.
“It means a lot,” said DiBlasi, 30-8, of qualifying for the first time. “I always looked at my brothers going. I’ve been grinding. Last year, I was disqualified in the bubble roud match. I wanted to come back stronger.
“The first trip is exciting.”
When DiBlasi first started going with his brothers and parents Ron and Barb to watch Paxton. The 2013 Park Hill graduate was a three-time qualifier and finished in the top eight twice. He was part of two state championship teams.
Out of high school, he attended Missouri and worked with the wrestling team as an assistant videographer and video editor. He currently works as a producer for KOMU TV in Columbia.
Both Colston and Weston were also part of state championship teams at Park Hill. The Parkville natives are each currently wrestling at Division I program’s.
Colston is in his first year George Mason after starting at Iowa State. He racked up 174 wins and three state titles at Park Hill before taking sixth at the Big 12 championship in 2017 during his redshirt freshman season.
Weston, a 2018 PHHS grad, is a freshman at Mizzou and is listed as a 133-pound wrestler.
Weston took third at state last year and was a runner-up in 2016.
“They always say I will be the best, I try, I try to do that,” Grayston says of his brothers.
Paxton and Weston were in attendance on Saturday to watch Grayston become the latest state qualifier in the family.
Being in the shadows of his brothers have pushed the 145-pounder.
“I like it, it makes me work harder and they always come and help. They all gone to state and it feels good (to go).
“I’m excited. I’ve been waiting for it.”
Park Hill will lead the area with 11 qualifiers. Platte County will have nine, including three freshmen making state debuts in Class 3. West Platte and Park Hill South will have one each when competition starts on Thursday, Feb. 14.
Cameron Gillespie is going to state to represent not only Park Hill South but his best friend, Max Rosario.
The 160-pound wrestler tore his ACL and didn’t compete in districts, ending a chance to return to state.
“I think he had a good shot at making it back,” said Gillespie, a qualifier at 182 for the second straight year. “I’m keeping that in the back of my mind. I’m fighting for him and repping the team the best I could.”