It was a good weekend for the Rocky Mountain wrestling team with a second place finish out of 19 teams at the Don Runner Memorial Wrestling Tournament held in Wind River, Jan. 15-16. The only thing better would have been a first, said Coach Josh Collins, adding that he expects to see that soon from his team.
Nine wrestlers placed in the tournament out of the 16 who competed. Collins said he was very pleased with the results, which included a first place in the 106-pound weight class for Brian Crawford. Crawford, who is ranked No. 1 in the Wyoming Wrestling rankings, pinned all of his opponents, including Jonathan Hagen of Thermopolis, who fell in :42, Steven Metz of Pinedale who fell in 1:24 and Laiton Ivie of Riverton JV, who fell in :41. Crawford got a bye in his first round and scored 28 points for his team.
Malachi Cook placed second in 113-pound class, scoring 22 points for the team. Though Cook fell to Ammon Teichert of Cokeville in the first place match, he pinned Klayton Rose of Dubois in the semifinals in 1:50 and pinned Karsen Carlson of Kemmerer in 3:50 in the quarterfinals but got a bye in the first round.
Stephen Preator placed third in the120-pound class, scoring 18 points for the team. Preator got a bye in his first round. In the quarterfinals he won by fall over Chase White of Thermopolis in 1:50. In the semifinals, he lost by major decision to Jaxon King of Saratoga. In the consolation semifinals he won by fall over Lakota Dolce of Mountain view in 2:43. In the match for third place, he won by decision over JJ Seaman of Hanna Elk Mountain 10-5.
Nathan Hatch placed sixth at 152 pounds, earning 15 points for the team. Hatch won by fall over Jon Nelsen of Hanna Elk Mountain in 1:41 in his first round but lost by tech to Hayden Walker of Kemmerer in the second round. He received a bye in consolation round 2, won by fall over Justin Winkleman of Big Piney in 1:47 in consolation round 3 and won by decision over his teammate Stetson Durand in consolation round 4. In his fifth consolation round, he won by fall over Chantz Albrecht of Pinedale in 3:25. In the semis match he lost to Thatcher Spiering of Saratoga by fall in 1:44 and in the first place match to Hayden Walker of Kemmerer by fall in 4:34.
Shay Bond placed second in the 170-pound class, scoring 23 team points. Bond got a bye in his first championship round but won by fall over Pat Cornell of Shoshoni in :33 in his second championship round. In the quarterfinals, Bond won by major decision over Ty Peterson of Rich County 15-1 and also won by decision over Reece Jolley of Hulett in the semifinal round but lost by decision to Jackson Linford of Cokeville in the first place match.
Dylan North placed sixth at 182-pounds, scoring 9 team points. North also got a bye in the championship round. He lost by fall to Merrill Beck of Lovell in 5:44 in the quarterfinals but won by injury default over JJ Pingetzer of Shoshoni in his second consolation round. In his third consolation round, he won by fall over his teammate Connor Holswarth in 4:24. He lost by fall to Jose Carmona of Greybull in 2:00 in the consolation semi round. In the match for fifth place, he lost by decision to Justis Fisher of Big Piney.
Triston Rusch placed third in the 195-pound class, scoring 18 team points. In the quarterfinals he won by fall over Trey Siddoway of Rich County in 1:16. In the semis he lost by decision to Lane Nielsen of Greybull. In the consolation semi he won by fall over his teammate Daniel Shreeve in 1:33. He won the third-place match by fall over Kadar Criddle of Pinedale in 1:26. Shreeve went on to place sixth at 195-pounds.
Garret Vezain placed second and scored 24 team points at 220-pounds. Vezain won his first round match by fall over Owen McAdams of Wind River in 1:20. He won by fall in the quarterfinals over Asencion Pelham of Big Piney (time not available) and by fall over Wyatt Weston of Rich County in 2:28 in the semifinal round. He lost in the first place match to Patrick Forester of Shoshone by fall in 1:20.
Also of note, Travis Lytle also scored 8.50 points for the team at 126 pounds. Dalton Wardell scored 4 team points in the 160-pound class.
Next up, the team will travel to Moorcroft for a two-day tournament Jan 22-23. Collins said he likes to take the team to Moorcroft because it’s an opportunity to compete against wrestlers from the other side of the state.
By Patti Carpenter