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December 22, 2010 6:03 pm

Five Panther wrestlers atop state polls

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Powell Panther 160 pound wrestler Olie Olson, shown competing in Worland last weekend, is one of five Panthers who have been ranked number one in their weight-classes among 3A wrestlers in Wyoming. Olson wrestled with the mask last weekend while a cut lip sustained in the Powell Invitational heals. Powell Panther 160 pound wrestler Olie Olson, shown competing in Worland last weekend, is one of five Panthers who have been ranked number one in their weight-classes among 3A wrestlers in Wyoming. Olson wrestled with the mask last weekend while a cut lip sustained in the Powell Invitational heals. Tribune photo by Don Amend

Team second in rankings behind Worland

Thirteen Powell High School wrestlers appear in the WyoWrestling.com Class 3A rankings as schools break for the holiday recess. Included in that number are five Panther grapplers who currently hold down the No. 1 ranking in their division.

Wrestlers Robert Friday (119), Jimmy Seckman (152), Olie Olson (160), Randy Andrews (171) and Trevor Griffeth (285) will begin 2011 sitting atop the polls.

 

 

Seckman has arguably had one of the best starts of any wrestler in the state. The senior pinned his way to titles at both the season-opening Powell Invitational and the Best of the Best round victory in Worland last week.

Seckman advanced all the way to the championship round in Rapid City before finishing as the runner-up in the 30-school meet.

Olson’s start has been equally impressive, with tournament victories in Powell and Worland sandwiched around a fourth-place finish in Rapid City. Andrews, meanwhile, began the year with runner-up finishes at Powell and Rapid City before punching through last week to finish was the Best of the Best champion in Worland.

Powell’s other top-ranked wrestlers both finished as runners-up at the Powell Invitational to begin the year.

Griffeth has since added a runner-up finish in the Best of the Best round last weekend and an eighth-place finish at Rapid City.

Another Best of the Best winner at last weekend’s Battle of the Big Horns, Waylon Bays (145), is the Panthers’ sole No. 2 wrestler in the latest batch of rankings. Bays also holds fourth-place finishes at Powell and Rapid City to his credit this season.

Three more grapplers — Charles Wittick (103), Jessee Craig (125) and Colt Nix (145) — are ranked No. 3. Nix was sidelined this past weekend due to concerns stemming from a concussion suffered in the Panthers’ dual with Laurel, Mont., but finished second in Powell and seventh at Rapid City.  Craig holds runner-up finishes at both Powell and the Battle of the Big Horns to his credit while Wittick was a perfect 6-0 in Worland, but missed out on participating in the Best of the Best round by virtue of a tiebreak.

Additional ranked wrestlers from Powell High School are Luke Wozney (fourth at 130), Dylan Rood (fifth at 112), Mike Mundy (fifth at 160) and Kurt Bullinger (sixth at 215).

In the 3A team standings, the Panthers head into 2011 as the No. 2 team in Class 3A. Fellow 3A West competitor Worland holds down the No. 1 spot atop the poll while defending 3A state champion Douglas is currently at No. 3 overall. Torrington, Buffalo and Mountain View round out the top six in the eyes of the pollsters.

The Panthers resume varsity wrestling action on Jan. 7-8. The team will travel to Bozeman, Mont., for a two-day tournament. The Panthers’ JV squad will face off against Rocky Mountain on Jan. 6 for the first official mat action of the new year.

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