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February 24, 2009 3:58 am

Panther domination

Written by Tribune Staff

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Powell High School's Monte Nickles (right) goes head to head with Lovell's Darren Ballard (left) during Friday's action at the Class 3A West Regional Tournament in Cody. Nickles went on to claim first place in the 189-pound weight class. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Nine Panthers earn titles as PHS wins 3A West Regional

The Powell High School Panthers steamrolled the competition at the Class 3A West Regional Tournament last Friday and Saturday, claiming the team championship and nine of the 14 individual titles that were up for grabs.

In the battle for the top spot in the team standings, the top-ranked Panthers easily outdistanced the field, thanks to a 272.5- point effort. Worland, the fifth-ranked team in 3A, was well behind the Panthers in second place with 148 points. The top five was rounded out by Mountain View (133), Jackson (109.5) and Lovell (91). This year's point total broke the team mark the Panthers set during the 2008 West Regional when they scored 251 points en route to that title.

“You can't ask for much more than what the kids did today and yesterday,” said Nate Urbach, head coach of the PHS wrestling team. “I'm very pleased with how they got after it, and I thought for the most part we wrestled very well throughout the tournament.”

Overall, Urbach took 20 wrestlers to the event in Cody, and all of those earned a spot in the state tournament, which will be conducted at the Casper Events Center Friday and Saturday. Even more impressive is the fact that of those 20, 17 finished fourth or better at the West Regional.

PHS's nine West Regional champions last week were Ren Utter at 103, Colt Nix at 125, Randy Andrews at 130, Cory Eden at 135, Auston Carter at 140, Cole Kary at 145, Trevor Donarski at 152, Cody Kalberer at 160 and Monte Nickles at 189. The Panthers also had three wrestlers finish as runner-ups — Olie Olson at 112, Jimmy Seckman at 145 and Joe Lujan at 189. Panthers finishing third were Beau Williams at 152, Tyler Showalter at 215 and Trevor Griffeth at 285. Fourth-place efforts were turned in by Panthers Luke Wozney at 103 and Zach Thiel at 125.

Although many expected the Panthers to walk away from Cody last weekend sporting a number of first-place efforts, there was one major surprise — Nix's championship showing at 125. Nix advanced into the finals after victories over Mountain View's Austin Bluemel and Thiel, his teammate. That put Nix in a bout with Worland's Jorden Osbon, who carried a No. 2 ranking into last week's regional. Though Nix had not beaten Osbon in their two previous matches, he remained unfazed by Osbon's previous victories and quickly registered a pin at the :44 mark to bring his coach, teammates and the Powell faithful to their feet for an unexpected celebration.

“I wasn't expecting that,” Urbach said moments after the bout's conclusion. “That was a huge win for us and for Colt. He got him in a good position, was able to keep him (inbounds) and that was just a big, big win. That's definitely going to make it that much more interesting at state.”

Nix's title at 125 helped the Panthers to a particularly strong showing in the middle weight classes, an area where PHS has been stout all season.

Following his victory over Osbon, the Panthers reeled off first-place efforts at 130 (Andrews), 135 (Eden), 140 (Carter), 145 (Kary), 152 (Donarski) and 160 (Kalberer).

As expected, top-rated Carter and Donarski remained solid during their time on the mats. Carter, a junior, posted a 3-0 mark in the two-day tournament and defeated second-ranked Matt Osbon of Worland 5-1 for the 140-pound championship. Carter, who will be attempting to earn his third-straight state title later this week, currently boasts a 42-5 record.

Donarski also won his three matches impressively. In the championship bout at 152, he pinned Jackson's Frankie Boda at the 1:19 mark. Donarski, a senior, will now attempt to earn his second state championship. His previous title came at 130 last season. Donarski currently sports a 44-1 record.

• Up next: With the Class 3A West Regional title now in hand, the Panthers turn their attention to the big prize — the state championship. They'll begin pursuit of a repeat title Friday and Saturday at the Casper Events Center. Wrestling action both days is slated to begin at 9 a.m.

Class 3A West Regional Team Results:

1. Powell (272.5 points)
2. Worland (148)
3. Mountain View (133)
4. Jackson (109.5)
5. Lovell (91)
6. Kemmerer (82)
7. Cody (69)

Class 3A West Regional Individual Results:

• 103: Ren Utter (Sr., 34-10, 1st place)
Won vs. Preston McCollam, Lovell, Fall 0:53
Won vs. Jay Stine, Worland, Fall 3:24
Won vs. Karsten Hauf, Mountain View, Dec. 14-10

• 103: Luke Wozney (Soph., 15-13, 4th place)
Won vs. Jesse Bassett, Lovell, Fall 5:42
Lost vs. Karsten Hauf, Mountain View, Fall 1:02
Won vs. Keanu Slovernick, Kemmerer, Fall 2:56
Lost vs. Jesse Bassett, Lovell, Fall 1:55

• 112: Olie Olson (Fr., 36-10, 2nd place)
Won vs. Tommy Emery, Cody, Fall 5:14
Won vs. Jackson Bassett, Lovell, M-Dec 10-2
Lost vs. Jared Leithead, Worland, Dec 8-2

• 125: Colt Nix (Soph., 26-18, 1st place)
Won vs. Austin Bluemel, Mountain View, Fall 1:53
Won vs. Zach Thiel, Powell, ST NIX 8-5
Won vs. Jorden Osbon, Worland, Fall 0:44

• 125: Zach Thiel (Fr., 7-8, 4th place)
Won vs. Kyle Dewey, Cody, Dec 8-2
Lost vs. Colt Nix Powell, ST NIX 8-5
Won vs. Garth Biebinger, Kemmerer, Dec 7-5
Lost vs. Danny Chavez, Jackson, Fall 2:20

• 130: Randy Andrews (Fr., 31-7, 1st place)
Won vs. Kyle Hoggan, Jackson, Fall 1:04
Won vs. Brad Gherts, Worland, Fall 2:18
Won vs. Jeremy Harmon, Mountain View, Dec 6-0

• 135: Cory Eden (Sr., 29-7, 1st place)
Won vs. Drew McMillian, Cody, Fall 1:40
Won vs. Trevor Ryan, Jackson, T-Fall 4:56
Won vs. Baron Muller, Kemmerer, Dec 3-0

• 140: Auston Carter (Jr., 42-5, 1st place)
Won vs. Clay Saldana, Powell, ST CAR 0:33
Won vs. Keith Scott, Mountain View, Fall 1:06
Won vs. Matt Osbon, Worland, Dec 5-1

• 140: Clay Saldana (Fr., 8-6)
Won vs. Jake Starcevich, Kemmerer, Fall 3:44
Lost vs. Auston Carter, Powell, ST CAR 0:33
Lost vs. Shane Evans, Jackson, M-Dec 13-1

• 145: Cole Kary (Jr., 29-9, 1st place)
Won vs. Kendall Larson, Mountain View, Fall 1:45
Won vs. Eric Rothleutner, Worland, Fall 0:42
Won vs. Ben Cuch, Lovell, M-Dec 21-10
Won vs. Jimmy Seckman, Powell, ST 10-3

• 145: Jimmy Seckman (Soph., 19-12, 2nd place)
Won vs. Brian Welsh, Kemmerer, Fall 3:17
Won vs. Jeff Redland, Worland, Dec 6-2
Lost vs. Cole Kary, Powell, ST 10-3

• 152: Trevor Donarski (Sr., 44-1, 1st place)
Won vs. Seth Edwards, Cody, Fall 1:22
Won vs. Beau Williams, Powell, ST DON 1:14
Won vs. Frankie Boda, Jackson, Fall 1:19

• 152: Beau Williams (Fr., 6-2, 3rd place)
Won vs. Nelson Freeman, Mountain View, Fall 4:58
Lost vs. Trevor Donarski, Powell, ST DON 1:14
Won vs. Josue Rodriguez, Worland, Fall 2:38
Won vs. Seth Edwards, Cody, Fall 1:55

• 160: Cody Kalberer (Sr., 39-8, 1st place)
Won vs. Danny Harris, Powell, ST KAL FALL
Won vs. Logan Muller, Worland, Fall 1:32
Won vs. Dylan Mastrud, Kemmerer, Fall 0:59
Won vs. Sam Werner, Cody, Dec 6-0

• 160: Danny Harris (Soph., 6-8)
Lost vs. Cody Kalberer, Powell, ST KAL FALL
Won vs. Matt Hale, Mountain View, Fall 3:50
Lost vs. Mark Grant, Lovell, Fall 3:55

• 171: Joe Lujan (Jr., 5-13, 2nd place)
Won vs. Charlie Flickinger, Jackson, Fall 0:27
Won vs. Jon Beck, Worland, Fall 0:51
Lost vs. Kyle Watson, Mountain View, Fall 3:05

• 189: Monte Nickles (Jr., 25-11, 1st place)
Won vs. Darren Ballard, Lovell, Fall 1:29
Won vs. Wade Newton, Worland, Fall 2:49
Won vs. Jared Asay, Lovell, Fall 0:55

• 189: Kurt Bullinger (Fr., 4-6)
Lost vs. Wynston Anglen, Mountain View, Fall 1:59
Lost vs. Roman Bastia, Worland, Dec 7-2

• 215: Tyler Showalter (Sr., 15-21, 3rd place)
Won vs. Brad Hanes, Cody, Fall 1:06
Lost vs. Jake Hanna, Jackson, Fall 1:06
Won vs. Brad Hanes, Cody, Fall 3:44

• 285: Trevor Griffeth (Soph., 13-8, 3rd place)
Lost vs. John Sax, Cody, Fall 2:47