Four for Four: Palmyra’s Arch finishes historic career with fourth state championship

Palmyra’s Collin Arch wins his fourth class 1 MSHSAA state championship match, Thursday in Columbia.  Mathew Kirby

Palmyra senior Collin Arch, right, has his hand raised in victory after pinning Brookfield's Colton Parn in 1 minute, 35 seconds in the Class 1 150-pound state championship match Thursday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo. | Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Typically stoic with his post-match reactions, Palmyra senior wrestler Collin Arch made a subtle, yet poignant gesture after winning his historic fourth straight state championship Thursday night.

As the referee raised his right hand, Arch held his left hand near his waist and flashed four fingers — one for each title.

“That was my little celebration this year,” Arch said.

The bigger celebration happened moments later.

The Northern Illinois University signee completed his run to glory by pinning Brookfield’s Colton Parn in 1 minute, 35 seconds in the Class 1 150-pound title match at Mizzou Arena. He pinned all four opponents at the state tournament, all in 95 seconds or less.

It put an exclamation point on Arch becoming the 37th wrestler in state history to win four championships. When he received his medal atop the podium, the thousands of wrestling fans gathered inside the arena gave Arch a standing ovation.

“It was a really cool thing to see, everybody in the stands standing up,” Arch said. “It was a cool sight.”

What transpired on the mat was something most wrestling fans have seen throughout Arch’s career.

That’s complete domination.

Arch took down Parn 11 seconds into the match, cut him loose shortly thereafter, then scored another takedown with 48 seconds left in the first period. Parn, who had lost to Arch in the district championship, fought off one pin attempt and looked to scramble to get out of bounds.

Arch didn’t allow it, cradling Parn and getting the pin with 25 seconds to go in the first period.

“I just had to go out there and leave no doubt and trust in the work I put in,” Arch said. “Once I step on the mat, just know that I put in the work and the best wrestler will leave with their hand raised.”

Arch has had his hand raised more than any wrestler in area history. Not only is he a four-time state champion, but Arch finishes his prep career with a 160-1 record.

“I’m just blessed to have this opportunity,” Arch said. “The support of family and friends and all of the support I have back home, it means a lot to me.”

It’s pushed him to be one of the greatest wrestlers Missouri has ever seen.

“It’s sunk in,” Arch said of what he has accomplished. “It definitely has.”

He was one of three Palmyra wrestlers to earn a state medal.

Panthers sophomore Elly Lorenson finished second in the 145-pound class in the girls tournament, losing 7-0 to undefeated Moberly grappler Breanne Gibbs in the championship match. Lorenson finished with a 28-4 record after winning three matches at the state tournament, including a pin of Polo senior Valorie Gabirelli in 4:37 in the semifinals.

Palmyra freshman Luke Lawson took sixth at 106 pounds in the boys tournament. After pinning Adrian’s Carter Dumas to reach the consolation semifinals, Lawson was pinned and suffered a technical fall in his final two matches. He finished his season with a 34-21 record.

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