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January 19, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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January 19, 2012

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CHRONICLE Or S January 19, 2012 I The I.evell Chronicle 1 7 Lovell grapplers strong at big meet BY DAVID PECK If the Lovell Bulldogs can ever field a full wres- tling team, they might be pretty formidable. The Bulldogs got two wrestlers back last week for the Don Runner Invi- tational in Pavillion, but they were down four oth- ers due to injuries. Back were Preston Blankenship at 113 pounds and Brigham Hopkin at 160, but Hopkin was filling in for two oth- er 160-pounders in Jacob Beck and Nathan Ballard, and the Bulldogs were also without Tony Rodriguez at 170 and Mark Grant at 220, who has missed most of the season. Down four wrestlers, the Bulldogs still placed a fairly close second to the Greybull/Riverside Buf- faloes at the Don Run- ner, hosted by Wind River High School. G/R finished with 179.5 points, Lovell 165.5. Casper Kelly Walsh was third with 159 points, Cokeville fourth with 156 and Wright fifth with 149.5. There were 19 teams at the tournament. "We got two back and lost a different three," coach Daniel Robertson said. "You can only score with one per- son at a weight, so Ballard being out at 160 was proba- bly a non-issue, but I would still rather have him than not. "We did pretty well. I thought we would have more than two kids in the finals, though. I thought we would have one or two more, but we kind of out- did ourselves in places, too. Brigham came back fresh off an injury, and placed third. It was a pretty high- caliber meet. I've always liked this one." Junior Dine Collins dominated the field at 182 pounds to win his weight class with a 4-0 record. He pinned Reece Presser of the Riverton JVs in 30 seconds, pinned Kyle Paige of Ri- verton in 1:34, stuck Kyle Benefield of Hanna-Elk Mountain in 1:36, then beat Sterling Baker of Dubois 6-3 for the title. "Baker...he's not bad at all, but he's no match for Dine," Robertson said. Nathan Grant went 4-0 at 152. The junior pinned Tyler Allen of Riverton in 3:08, beat Alex Collver of Wind River 7-2, crushed Daniel Magana of Wright 12-3 and beat Luke Zeller of Greybull/Riverside 14-10 in the finale. "Beating Zeller, that was awesome," Robertson said. "He wrestled his own match - the way he want- ed to. He had a hard time keeping Zeller on the mat, but he wasn't having a hard time getting him on the mat, which is good. Nathan is getting better and bet- ter." Blankenship was a lit- tle rough around the edges in his first tournament of the year but went 3-1 at 113 pounds to place third. The senior pinned Tia Hamp- ton of Wind River in 1:04, fell to eventual champion James Teichert of Cokeville 13-2, then rebounded to pin Kyle Bartlett of Saratoga in 3:30 and Kyle Strasheim of Greybull/Riverside in 2:17 to take third. "PJ ran into a Teichert kid from Cokeville. There are about a million of them, and they're all pretty good," PATTI CARPENTER Lovell senior Adam Beck works over an opponent during the Powell Roundtable Invitational earlier this season. Beck and his teammates will compete in Thermopolis this weekend at the Bobcat Invitational. Robertson said. "PJ was green and raw. He was ob- viously missing that expe- rience form the first part of the season. But he did a good job making in-meet adjustments to his wres- tling." Also placing third in his first tournament of the year was Brigham Hopkin, who wrestled to a 4-1 record af- ter moving down to 160 pounds from 170 to fill in for Beck and Ballard. Hopkin fell to eventual champ Nate Hetzel in his first match 11- 9, then pinned Ryley Smith of Rich County, Utah, in 50 seconds, Milton Crawford of Riverton in 42 seconds and Bronson Teichert of Cokev- ille in 1:28, then placed third by stopping Miles Ga- lovich of Thermopolis 4-2 in overtime. Senior Eli Moody placed third at 195 pounds, as well. Moody fell to Gabe Villegas of G/R in 4:31, then rallied to pin Nate Hatfield of Ri- verton in 2:02, beat Charlie Flickinger of Jackson 7-4 and crush Jaspur Gurr of Riverton 8-1 for third. "Eli was winning against Villegas until he got impatient," Robertson said. "When you do that, bad things happen. He's a big, strong kid." Jesse Bassett went 5-2 at 138 pounds to place fourth. The senior pinned Dakota Clark of Rich Coun- ty in 4:55 and pounded Mi- chael Yeradi of Wright 17- 4. He fell to Zack Larson of Thermop 8-5, then stopped Clark again, 13-3, pinned teammate Dimas Patina in 2:53 and crushed Marty Thoman of Wind River 10-2 before falling to Brock Tel- chert of Cokeville in a wild match, 15-14. Adam Beck placed fifth at 145, going 4-2. He opened with a tough 10-8 loss to RJ Seaman of Hanna-Elk Mountain, then pinned Alex Minge of Shoshoni in 1:22 and crushed Geoffery Taylor of Rich County 15-0. He advanced by beating Je- sus Burgos of Greybull/Riv- erside 7-1 but fell to Corson Krebs of Saratoga 4-2. He placed fifth by pinr/ing For: rest Hendry of Kelly Walsh in 3:53. Two Lovell grapplers placed sixth. Trey Smith went 3-3 at 106. The fresh- man crushed Chris Nelson of Kelly Walsh 17-5, was pinned by eventual champi- on Colt Larson of Cokeville in 42 seconds, pinned Matt Dillon of Shoshoni in 46 sec- onds, pinned Trinity Nitch- man of Shoshoni in 2:24, fell to Nathan Martinez of Wright in 1:44 and fell to Justin Smith of Rocky Mountain in 3:52. And undersized Jacob Asay went 2-3 at heavy- weight and placed sixth. Asay pinned Jake Johnson of Rich County in 31 sec- onds and beat Dalton Lin- nan of Shoshoni 3-1, then fell to Kade Earley of Rich County in 52 seconds, fell to Justin Irene of Hanna-Elk Mountain in 3:12 and fell to Jacob Wells of Shoshoni in 51 seconds. DUAL AT CODY The Bulldogs compet- ed in a dual meet at Cody last Tuesday, Jan. 10, and defeated the Broncs 42-39, Robertson said. THERMOP MEET The Bulldogs will stay in the Big Horn Basin this weekend, competing at the Bobcat Invitational in Thermopolis Friday and Saturday. Action begins at 2 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. Teams expected to attend include Big Pin- ey, Cheyenne South, Du- bois, Greybull/Riverside, Jackson, Kemmerer, the Lander JVs, Lovell, Lyman, Pinedale, Riverton JVs, Star Valley JVs, Thermop, Wheatland, Wind River, Wyoming Indian and Co- lumbus, Mont. Three Rocky wrestlers out sick BY PATTI CARPENTER Justin Smith and Jake Jones were the only wres- tlers from the Rocky team travelling to the Don Run- ner invitational last week- end. The rest were ill and unable to attend. Don Runner was a large meet that was well attended by wres- tlers from 19 schools. The RMHS team of two placed 15th overall against a field of much larger teams. Smith qualified to wrestle in the 106-pound class, which is one weight class lower than he has wrestled in so far this sea- son and placed fifth over- all in that class. Smith wrestled against three opponents on the first day of the tournament and another three opponents on the second day. On the first day he was pinned by Austin Carson of Casper Kelly Walsh in the sec- ond period but pinned his other two opponents Ken- ny Wohl of Hanna-Elk Mountain and Tristen Synder of Lovell. During the second day of the tour- nament, Smith pinned Jake Miller of Jackson Hole in the second period of his first match but was pinned again by Carson in the third period. In his third match of the day, Smith pinned Trey Smith of Lovell in the third pe- riod. "This is Justin's first time wrestling at 106. He was always in the heavier weight at 113/' said coach Josh Collins. "He went 4-2 at this tournament, which means he won four and had two loses and came out with fifth place." According to Collins one weight higher is often harder than one weight lower. "He had a good tour- nament," said Collins. Collins thought Smith's improvement was PATTI CARPENTER Justin Smith takes down a Powell wrestler at a duel held at RMHS earlier in the season. as much due to his work in the training room as any- thing else. "We saw some im- provements in him stand- ing up and being a little bit more physical with his opponents," said Collins. "This is improvement that he has been show- ing all along, and we saw it at the tournament. The weight makes a differ- ence, too." A lot of the wrestlers in the 113-pound class are considerably larger than Smith, so Collins felt the drop in weight class pro- vided more appropriate competition for a wrestler his size. Jake Jones also wres- tled in a lower class than he has in other matches this season, placing sec- ond at 3-1 against the field in the 145-pound class to Kemmerer's Blake Mas- trud, who took first with a 4-0 record. On the first day of the tournament, Jones pinned Sage Weston of Rich County, Utah, in the second period and pinned Forest Hendry of Casper Kelly Walsh in the first period. On day two, Jones went three periods with Carson Kerbs and Blake Mastrud. Mastrud got two takedowns and an escape and Jones got one escape, leaving the score at 5-1 in Mastrud's favor. Jones outscored Kerbs 7-3. "It was a very close match at the end with Ma- strud," said Collins. "We lost 5 to 1 in that match. All close matches like this are serious matches in wrestling." Collins wasn't sure if Jones would stay at the lower weight class. He felt he faced serious competi- tion at either class. "He's up at the top in either class," said Collins. "He will still be wrestling against the top kids who are all state contenders." Last year Jones took second at the state tour- nament. "Whenever you have two great kids wrestling, you never know who's go- ing to win," said Collins. "It's hard to say what the competition will look like at State since we haven't wrestled kids yet from the other side of the state." The upcoming tour- nament on Friday and Saturday at Lingle-Fort Laramie will allow the wrestlers and coaches from Rocky a look at what competition awaits them from the other side of the state. Wrestling begins at noon on Friday and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. "Instead of wrestling the same people over and over again, it will give us a chance to wrestle some new people," said Collins of the upcoming competi- tion. After Lingle-Fort Laramie, there are only two tournaments (Grey- bull and Riverton) before the boys wrestle at Re- gionals, which will be held in Shoshoni this year on Feb. 17-18. H$ ........ * ...... 1 ' "