The Class 3-A state wrestling tournament was more of a marathon than usual with teams arriving in Casper beginning Monday afternoon in anticipation of the blizzard that closed almost every highway in the southern half of the state until Thursday morning.
Lander heavyweight Cody Cunningham led a contingent of five Fremont County wrestlers who earned medals at the meet with a championship.
Cunningham wrestled for the title a year ago and finished runner-up, but this time he took control early, tossing Douglas 285 pound opponent Kenai Berguist to the mat face first before eventually pinning him at 3:32.
Fellow 285-pound wrestler of Riverton, Zaryc Prosser did it the hard way in earning a third-place medal. After dropping his opening round match, Prosser showed excellent determination in battling back through the bracket for five straight wins before taking the third place match in a tough bought with Carson VanGiesen of Evanston by a 3-0 decision.
At 138 pounds, Lander’s Hunter Velarde had a breakthrough weekend, narrowly missing a state championship via a close 8-5 decision to Kale Knezovich of Green River. Velarde advanced to the final with another tough match, winning by a 4-3 decision in the semi-finals over Kyson Hamilton of Evanston.
Tiger wrestlers Charles Snyder and Gabe Harris each finished fifth in their respective 145 and 170-pound divisions.
Class 3-A State Wrestling Individual Results:
106: 1. Lucas Todd, GR
113: 1. Wylee Wilson, PIN
120: 1. Ryan Nutt, PIN
126: 1. Zachary Covolo, RAW
132: 1. Jake Hammer, PIN
138: 1. Kale Knezovich, GR, 2. Hunter Velarde, LAN
Championship match – Kale Knezovich, GR over Hunter Velarde, LAN Dec 8-5
145: 1. Thomas Dalton, GR, 5. Charles Snyder, LAN
Fifth place match – Charles Snyder, LAN over Maddux Hintz, GR MD 13-5
152: 1. Sage Lonn, RAW
160: 1. Lane Ewing, DOU
170: 1. Morgan Hatch, LYM, 5. Gabe Harris, LAN
Fifth place match – Gabe Harris, LAN over Jacob Prell, NEW/UPT Dec 10-3
182: 1. Grayson Beaudrie, COD
195: 1. Nathan Harper, WOR
220: 1. Stetson Davis, POW
285: 1. Cody Cunningham, LAN, 3. Zaryc Prosser, RIV
Championship match – Cody Cunningham, LAN over Kenai Bergquist, DOU Fall 3:32
Third place match – Zaryc Prosser, RIV over Carson VanGieson, EVN Dec 3-0