Wrestlers from Lovell and Rocky competed with the Wyoming Brown and Gold teams at the AAU Freshman/Sophomore and Junior/Senior National Duals Friday and Saturday at the HyVee Hall in Des Moines, Iowa.
Grapplers that attended the tournament were Bulldog wrestlers Alex Nicholson, Jack Steed, Coy Trainor, Quinton Hecker and Cruz Garcia and Grizzly grapplers Tonka and Travis Lytle.
Trainor, Hecker and Garcia competed with the Wyoming Brown team in the freshman/sophomore duals that went 5-3 in the tournament by defeating South Dakota Sly Fox 43-31, Iowa White 42-30, Iowa Gold 45-33, Iowa Red 39-33 and Team Vision Quest 45-34.
Trainor went 7-1 at 220 pounds in the dual tournament, pinning Kain Rogers of South Dakota Sly Fox in three minutes, Hunter Greenmyer of Team North Dakota Prime in 2:38 and Trey Schepens of Montana Grizzlies in 1:21. Trainor also beat Eli Huot of South Dakota West 9-1, Taylor Schwartzman of Iowa White 3-2, Damon Meyer of Iowa Gold 5-3 and another wrestler by forfeit.
“Going to Iowa is always a fun experience,” Trainor said. “I earned All-American on the first day this year, which was an improvement from last year.”
Garcia went 2-6 at heavyweight in the tournament, pinning Nick Brennan of Team North Dakota Prime in 1:25 and Trey Shalla of Team Vision Quest in 2:42 for his two wins.
Hecker went 1-7 at 120 pounds in the duals, pinning CJ Snethen of Iowa Red in 2:48 for his lone win of the tournament.
“It was super fun to meet all the kids from all over the state and the country,” Hecker said. “It was a great learning opportunity and I earned lots of mat time.”
Tonka Lytle competed for Wyoming Gold in the freshman-sophomore duals at 132 pounds and went 0-5 in his matches.
In the Junior-Senior National Duals, Nicholson competed with the Wyoming Brown team that went 5-4 in the duals by defeating Team Prime 38-31, Montana Grizzlies 41-30, Nebraska Silver 45-35, Wyoming Gold 76-3 and Iowa Red 45-24.
Nicholson went 2-6 at 126 pounds in his matches, pinning Caleb Frank of Montana Grizzlies in 4:28 and beating Gavin Brito of Wyoming Gold by injury default for his two wins.
Lytle competed with Wyoming Gold at 138 pounds and went 1-7 in the tournament, defeating Jacob Morgan of Team Montana Grizzlies 7-4 for his lone win at the duals.
Steed also competed with Wyoming Gold at 145 pounds and went 1-8 in the tournament.
“Our numbers continue to increase in post-season competitions,” LHS coach Nick DeWitt said. “The five we had travel on this trip were a good combination of young athletes working to improve.
“This competition provides them with an opportunity to practice and compete against athletes that they would never see at a local tournament. It helps them build bonds and connections with other
wrestlers from around the state. You don’t see that in many sports.”
By Sam Smith