The Lovell High School wrestling squad made some noise at the 2A West Regional Tournament Friday and Saturday in Dubois as they finished second in the two-day tournament.
Twelve Bulldogs placed in the tournament led by champions Coy Trainor and Jaret Collins.
The Bulldogs finished with a team total of 132 points, 19 points behind regional champion Kemmerer and three points ahead of Big Piney. The team had two regional champions, one second-place finisher, three thirds, four fourths and two fifths.
“Overall, it came down to everyone wrestling at their best abilities,” coach Nick DeWitt said. “With a lot of guys, we’ve been close to getting over that hump all year long and this week we were able to.”
Senior Jaret Collins took home the gold at 285 pounds to remain undefeated on the season at 37-0. After receiving a bye in the quarterfinals, Collins pinned Leslie Fool Bull of Wyoming Indian in the semifinals in 1:26 and Asencion Pelham of Big Piney in the championship match in 2:07.
Freshman Coy Trainor (24-13) won the 195-pound class. After receiving a bye in the quarterfinals, Trainor stuck Kaiden Burk of Wind River in the semifinals in 2:46 and beat TJ Frazier of Big Piney 4-2 in the championship match.
“Those two continue to push the pace and the tempo at each of their individual weight classes,” DeWitt said. “Coy continues to improve weekly and Jaret just continues to show dominance, as he should.”
Freshman Quinton Hecker (17-10) placed second at 106 pounds. After receiving a bye in the quarterfinals and in the semifinals, Hecker fell to Dawson Schramm of Kemmerer in the championship match in 3:56.
“With Hecker making it into the finals, it was unfortunate for him as a freshman to only wrestle one match,” DeWitt said.
Sophomore Alex Nicholson (18-12) placed third at 120 pounds. After receiving a bye in the first round, Nicholson pinned Kyle Laird of Wind River in the quarterfinals in 5:31 before falling to Jaxon King of Saratoga in the semifinals in 2:46. Nicholson bounced back in the consolation semifinals by sticking Kobe Tillman of Wyoming Indian in 32 seconds before winning by rule over sophomore Kaleb Snyder of Lovell in the third-place match.
Sophomore Mikel May (18-25) placed third at 152 pounds. After receiving a bye in the first round, May fell to Thomas Ingraham of Saratoga 13-3 in the quarterfinals. After receiving another bye in the consolation second round, May turned things around as he stuck Carlos Garay of Greybull/Riverside in the third round in 52 seconds, Tyler Long of Big Piney in the consolation semifinals in 4:26 and Monaire Guina of Wyoming Indian in the third-place match in 50 seconds.
Sophomore Kerry Powell (13-22) took third at 182 pounds. Powell fell to Rick Nate of Cokeville in the quarterfinals in 2:21. After receiving a bye in the consolation first round, Powell won by injury default over Thomas Pitlock of Big Piney in the consolation semifinals and beat Kyle Hoyt of Rocky Mountain 8-4 in the third-place match.
Snyder (8-16) placed fourth at 120 pounds. He stuck Trezdon Martinez of Saratoga in the first round in 2:20 and Kobe Tillman of Wyoming Indian in the quarterfinals in 2:45 before falling to Carson Carlson of Kemmerer in the semifinals in 3:08. Snyder faced Martinez again in the consolation semifinals and pinned him in 1:35 before falling to Nicholson.
Sophomore Jack Steed (20-17) took fourth at 126 pounds. Steed stuck David Blackbird of Wyoming Indian in the quarterfinals in 40 seconds before falling to Ammon Teichert of Cokeville in the semifinals in 1:24. In the consolation semifinals, Steed pinned Hiissiis Goodnight of Wyoming Indian in 2:43 before falling to Wes Teichert of Cokeville in a close 3-2 decision in the third-place match.
Senior Joey Mickelson (34-9) placed fourth at 145 pounds. After receiving a bye in the first round, Mickelson pinned Calder Taylor of Big Piney in the quarterfinals in 1:18 before falling to eventual champion Alex Schlattmann of Greybull/Riverside in the semifinals in 5:53. Mickelson bounced back in the consolation bracket as he stuck Lowell Ellis of Kemmerer in 2:55 before falling to Antheny Petersen of Cokeville 4-2 in the third-place match.
Sophomore Kelly Powell placed fourth at 170 pounds. Powell beat Tanner Hansen of Big Piney 7-6 in the quarterfinals before falling to Hayden Walker of Kemmerer in the semifinals in 3:28. Powell beat Colton Befus of Wind River 3-0 in the consolation semifinals before falling to Noel Aguirre of Big Piney 6-3 in the third-place match.
Junior Jared Wilkerson placed fifth at 138 pounds, pinning Corbin Slattery of Greybull/Riverside in the consolation second round in 2:59.
Freshman Dallas Oliver placed fifth at 160 pounds.
Other Bulldog wrestlers at Regionals were freshman Ethan Guerrero at 160 pounds and junior Logan Nunn 145 pounds.
“Every one of the wrestlers showed levels of improvement, dedication and heart that helped them achieve their success at Regionals,” DeWitt said. “At a tournament with this level of competition, those attributes will often help them come out ahead on the scoreboard.”
The Bulldogs are now turning their attention to the Class 2A State Wrestling Tournament Friday and Saturday in Casper. Wrestling is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on both days.
“We will work on continuing on what we’ve done all year long,” DeWitt said. “It has shown to be successful, and as they say, ‘why fix something that isn’t broken?’ Now is the time to fine tune and mentally prepare for the competition at this caliber.”
By Sam Smith