Four Troup wrestlers who were unseeded finished in the top six among athletes from 28 schools.
Coach Chris Mitchem only took eight wrestlers to Columbus while another group participated in a junior-varsity tourney.
Sophomore Jederrious Smith led Troup with a fourth-place finish at 145 pounds.
Michael Mackfield placed fifth at 220 pounds, Cameron Cato was sixth at 113 pounds, and Adam Love placed sixth at 132 pounds.
Only the top six in each weight class were eligible to place.
“All those guys came into the tournament unseeded,” Mitchem said. “That was very good for them being unseeded and placing in the top six.”
The success at Hardaway should help feed into the Fayette County Invitational, which gets under way at 9 a.m. Friday and picks up again at 9 a.m. Saturday.
“It was our first individual tournament,” Mitchem said of the Hardaway Invitational. “We’ve been wrestling a lot of duals. It was good for the guys to be wrestling pretty much for themselves and the team. I think hopefully since those four guys placed, they’ll start feeding off of that type of places and hopefully place in the wrestling tournaments higher than what they placed in the tournament before.”
Mitchem says he doesn’t expect any easy paths to success at Fayette County, but hopes to build off the recent success in Columbus.
“It’s going to be a tough tournament. It’s traditionally tough,” he said. “It’s going to be tough for our guys to place, but I think they have it in them to place if they wrestle how they’re supposed to and how they’re trained.”
Mitchem hopes to take 12 wrestlers to Fayetteville this weekend.
In junior-varsity action that took place at Mill Creek High School over the weekend, several athletes that have wrestled varsity in place of injured or ill teammates, competed so they could continue to gain live experience, Mitchem said.
The Walt Hennebaul Open is a junior-varsity tournament that eight Troup wrestlers competed in.
“I kind of sent younger, inexperienced guys to that so they could get some experience,” Mitchem said.
Hunter Newton was the big winner for the Tigers, placing first at 182 pounds.
Hudson Newton placed fifth at 220 pounds, Craig Moore placed fifth at 195 pounds, Dakota Wilson placed fifth at 120 pounds and Will Lundberg placed fifth at 113 pounds.
“That was a pretty good JV tournament,” Mitchum added. “They had about 28 teams in it and they placed the top six guys in each weight class.”