Bulldog wrestlers reel in medals at Regionals

Avery Layne

This past weekend the Lovell Bulldog wrestlers came one step closer to finishing their season after attending regional tournaments.

The boys 2A West Regional Tournament was held in Shoshoni this year, while the girls competed in Riverton at the all-class West Regional. Through sheer grit and determination, a handful of the team members placed within the top four to get seeded at State while others managed to come within the top eight to secure their spot in their respective state brackets.

As a team, the boys also came in fourth at the 2A West Regional. 

James Love, competing in the 285-pound weight class, was the sole Bulldog regional champion this weekend, going 3-0. Love pinned his first two opponents in under a minute to land him in the finals against Greybull/Riverside’s Curtis Strohschein, who he pinned in the third period. Love will go into state as the number one seed in his weight class. 

Rosendo Garcia finished second, pinning his first two opponents in the first period, which landed him in the finals against Kemmerer’s Owen Barton. Though fighting a tough three periods, the match ended in Barton’s favor with a 5-2 decision.

Mason Christenson competed in the 132-pound weight class, which was the largest bracket at the tournament with 15 competitors. Christenson tore through tough competition and ended up coming in second after  fighting a hard match against Flint Linford of Cokeville in the finals. 

Dino Delacruz entered the tournament competing at 106 pounds. Losing his first match sent him to wrestle on the left side of the bracket for third place. Going 2-1 overall, Delacruz managed to avenge his loss from earlier in the day with a 9-6 decision over Dyllan Myers of Thermopolis, putting him in third place in his bracket. 

Kalell Gruell also managed to come in third at the tournament in the 215-pound weight class. A tough match against the number one ranked wrestler, Owen Barton of Kemmerer, sent him back to wrestle for third. Gruell came back to go 2-1 after beating Zef Zuniga of Big Piney for third place. 

Carson Asay finished fourth in the 165-pound weight class. Asay went 4-2 this weekend after wrestling tough on the mat. 

Zayden Stahl also finished in fourth place in his bracket, competing at 120 pounds. Stahl went 2-2 at the regional tournament. 

At the girls regionals in Riverton, Danika Crumrine took third place in the 135-pound weight class. Crumrine wrestled tough but lost in the semifinals, which sent her to the left side of the bracket. She finished the tournament with a record of 3-1.

Out of the entire team, 15 Bulldogs secured their spot at State by finishing in the top eight of their respective brackets. Wrestlers who will be headed to wrestle at State this weekend include Delacruz at 106 pounds, Hudsen Mickelson at 113 pounds, Stahl at 120 pounds,  Christenson at 132 pounds, Owen Hill at 150 pounds, Stetson Asay at 157 pounds, Carson Asay at 165 pounds, Kasey Jordan at 175 pounds, Kyler Mickelson at 190 pounds, Gruell at 215 pounds, Garcia at 215 pounds, Love at 285 pounds, Danika Crumrine at Girls 135 pounds and Avery Layne at Girls 155 pounds.

The state tournament will be held in Casper at the Ford Wyoming Center. The tournament will last three days, starting Thursday and concluding Saturday afternoon with the state championship matches scheduled to start at 2:15 p.m. The Lovell Bulldogs will go into the tournament with their heads focused on bringing home some new hardware.