“The kids wrestled well,” said Panther wrestling coach Nate Urbach. “It’s still early, and you could see that, but its the most in the top six that we’ve ever had here at home.”
The Panthers used that wave of placewinners to score a 50-point margin of victory in the final team standings. Powell was the only school from the field of 21 teams to score more than 300 points. The Panthers finished with 341 points, well in front of meet runner-up Worland, which ended the event scoring 291 points.
Natrona County (210) and Kelly Walsh (207) were the only other schools to score more than 200 points over the weekend.
Thompson, ranked second in his weight class in the preseason, breezed through the 195-pound division. He capped two busy days of activity with a 6-3 win in the championship round over Worland’s Colby Wartman, who was ranked third in the preseason.
“Zach looked dominant throughout the tournament,” said Urbach. “He’s a kid who has really grown into his weight class. Last year he was pretty small for 195, but he’s back this year with about 10 extra pounds of solid muscle on him and he has looked good.”
Also looking good in the early going was Karst. After breezing through his pool to start the tournament, Karst, ranked seventh at 106 pounds to begin the season, made his way through the bracket portion of competition to score a narrow 4-3 win over Devon Mauch, ranked fifth at 113 pounds in Class 4A.
“Chance was actually one of two freshmen we had reach the finals, which was very nice,” said Urbach. “He had a really good weekend for his first high school tournament.”
The other freshman Urbach referred to was 138-pounder Ky Catlin. Catlin, unranked in the preseason, advanced all the way to Saturday’s championship match within his division before slamming into a brick wall in the form of defending 4A state champion Tanner Galey out of Kelly Walsh. Galey took a 9-3 victory in the championship showdown.
“He wrestled him pretty well,” Urbach said of Catlin’s loss. “He gave a good effort.”
Third place finishers for Powell included sophomore Noah Wozney at 106 pounds, senior Tyler Patterson at 170 pounds and sophomore Riley Stringer at 285 pounds. Fourth place winners were junior Colbee Craig at 126, senior Andrew Feller at 132 and junior Matt Widdicombe at 138.
Rounding out the list of placewinners for the Panthers were Nic Urbach (fifth at 120), Dylan Rood (sixth at 126), Grant Nickles (fifth at 145), Jacob Davis (sixth at 152), Mike Mundy (fifth at 160), Anthony Lujan (sixth at 160), Erik Denney (fifth at 220) and Rowdy Gard (sixth at 285).
“Grant couldn’t even make the bracket at JV at this tournament last year, so to see him up in the top six was nice,” said Urbach. “Jacob Davis had some nice results as well. He beat a kid this weekend that he’d never defeated previously at any level of wrestling.”
The Panthers travel to Rapid City, S.D., this weekend for their next tournament. The JV team will go to Forsyth, Mont.
“Both of those are very tough tournaments,” Urbach said.
Team scores: Powell 341, Worland 291, Natrona County 210, Kelly Walsh 207, Sheridan 171.5, Gillette 157.5, Lander 126.5, Colstrip 106, Lovell 103, Cody 99, Rawlins 77, Thermopolis 76, Columbus 64.5, Greybull 58, Dubois 58, Rocky Mountain 28.5, Wind River 16, Livingston 6, Buffalo 4, Wyoming Indian 0, Shoshoni 0.