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Wrestlers take ninth in Rapid City

Thompson leads field of six Panther placewinners

The Powell High School wrestling team placed six wrestlers in the top eight in Rapid City, S.D., over the weekend, including a runner-up finish by junior Zach Thompson. As a team, the Panthers placed ninth overall in the crowded 35-school field.

Thompson had the day’s most impressive finish. Fresh off a tournament championship in Powell a week earlier, Thompson pinned his way into the semifinals before having to exert slightly more effort in an 11-4 decision victory to reach the 195-pound championship match. There, he suffered his first loss of the season in a 9-4 defeat.

Also having a strong weekend for the Panthers was freshman Kye Catlin. Catlin opened competition at 138 pounds with a win by fall, but then was sent packing to the elimination side of the bracket with a 10-1 major decision loss in round two.

Catlin recovered nicely from the early setback. The youngster reeled off a series of six consecutive victories, the last four by decision, to capture third place honors in the tournament.

Also placing at 138 pounds was junior Matt Widdicombe. Widdicombe’s day also got off to a rough start as he was pinned in his very first match. That led to a series of five straight wins on the elimination side of the bracket, the last being a win by fall that avenged Widdicombe’s initial tournament loss, to earn a place among the top six. Widdicombe’s day ended with back to back decision losses, leaving him sixth overall in the division.

Freshman Nic Urbach placed fifth at 113 pounds. Urbach opened the tournament with back-to-back wins by fall before finding himself on the losing side of a similar outcome. On the elimination bracket, Urbach registered a major decision without surrendering a point. He dropped a 7-4 decision to miss the consolation championship, but bounced back for a 4-2 victory to capture fifth place.

Sophomore Riley Stringer finished 4-2 over the weekend with all six of his matches ending via fall as he placed seventh overall for the Panthers at 285 pounds. Senior Tyler Patters began his day with consecutive wins by fall before finishing 3-3 overall and in eighth place at 170 pounds.

As a team, the Panthers placed ninth overall with 108 points. The tournament was won by Pierre, S.D., with 215.5 points. Rapid City Central was the meet runner-up at 181.5 points.

Compared against the Wyoming schools in attendance, the Panthers did well. Only Gillette, which placed third with 175.5 points, fared better among Wyoming schools. Behind Powell, Worland was the next-best Wyoming squad, finishing with 83.5 points in 15th place. Natrona was 17th overall while perennial 3A rival Douglas was 18th overall with 57.5 points. Riverton, Sheridan, Torrington, Thermopolis and Newcastle were also represented at the tournament.

The Powell High School wrestling team continues its season on Tuesday night with a dual against Laurel, Mont. The Panthers wrap up the 2012 portion of their schedule with a weekend appearance at the Worland Dual Tournament.

Complete Panther results: 106-Noah Wozney (1-2), 113-Nic Urbach (5-2, finished fifth), Chance Karst (3-2), 120-Colbee Craig (1-2), 126-Dylan Rood (1-2), Colton Parham (1-2), 132-Andrew Feller (1-2), 138-Kye Catlin (7-1, finished third), Matt Widdicombe (5-3, finished sixth), 145-Jacob Davis (1-2), 152-Anthony Lujan (2-2), 160-Mike Mundy (1-2), 170-Tyler Patterson (3-3, finished eighth), 195-Zach Thompson (4-1, finished second), 220-Spencer Shultz (2-2), 285-Riley Stringer (4-2, finished seventh), Rowdy Gard (1-2).

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