Back-to-back champs!

Posted 3/3/09

“It's tough to repeat,” said PHS head coach Nate Urbach. “There's a lot of pressure that comes along with defending a title. Once you've won it, everybody is gunning for you all year long. You're always expected to win no matter …

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Back-to-back champs!


{gallery}03_03_09/austoncarter{/gallery}Powell High School assistant coach Zach Coombs (left) looks on as Panther wrestler Auston Carter is hoisted into the air by PHS head coach Nate Urbach following Carter's title-winning victory in the 140-pound weight class Saturday night at the WHSAA Class 3A State Wrestling Championships. The state title was the third of Carter's varsity career. The Panthers won the team title as well, giving them back-to-back state championships. Tribune photo by David DickeyPHS cruises to Class 3A wrestling crownPowell High School's wrestling team capped a dominant season Saturday by winning the Class 3A title at the Wyoming High School Activities Association Wrestling Championships at the Casper Events Center. The state title is PHS's second in a row.

“It's tough to repeat,” said PHS head coach Nate Urbach. “There's a lot of pressure that comes along with defending a title. Once you've won it, everybody is gunning for you all year long. You're always expected to win no matter what happens. That's tough to do, and our kids handled it really well all season long. They had an incredible season.”

The Panthers' season, in addition to the strong showing at the state event, included an 18-0 record in dual meets and the West Regional Tournament championship. At the state tournament, the Panthers outdistanced second-place Douglas by 37.5 points.

“This is probably the best year I've ever been associated with,” Urbach said when asked where this season's Panther squad ranks among all the teams he's coached during his career. “All in all, I've never had a team that's accomplished so much. The dual record, the regional and state championships — they were just great this season.”

Urbach credited the back-to-back championship effort to the team's work ethic and his senior wrestlers — Cody Kalberer, Trevor Donarski, Ren Utter, Cory Eden, Tyler Showalter and Dalton Harris.

“I can't say enough about our seniors,” Urbach said. “They've worked so hard and they've set the tone for us. I'm really going to miss them. I also want to thank coaches Steve Martin and Zach Coombs and all the wrestling parents for all they've done.”

Urbach, in addition to solid efforts from his seniors, also got plenty of key contributions from the younger members of his team. One such young standout was Olie Olson, who won the state title in the 112-pound weight class.

Olson's win in the title bout against Lovell's Jackson Bassett is the one that clinched the team championship for the Panthers.

Olson, following his first-place effort, said it was an honor to accomplish a feat his teammate, junior Auston Carter, pulled off in his freshman campaign.

“Auston won a state title as a freshman, so it means a lot to do something that he did,” Olson said. “I've been working toward this all year, and it's a great feeling.”

Olson said the reality of a potential state title hit him about 15 minutes before stepping onto the mat for the finals. He added that prior to his title bout, he spent some alone time talking to himself.

“I just told myself to win it for my family, my team and my coach,” Olson said. “Those are the ones that helped me get to this point, and I wanted to do it for them.”

Olson finished the season with a 38-9 mark. At the state tournament, he posted a perfect 4-0 record.

Carter, the wrestler Olson referred to during his post-tournament comments, also had a stellar showing in the state tournament. Despite problems from his injured shoulder, which he dislocated late in the season, Carter was able to win all four of his matches in Casper last week. In the 140-pound title bout against Douglas' Michael Hogan, Carter said his left shoulder popped out of its socket twice. Each time he was able to pop it back in place and continue.

Carter's state title was his third as a member of the Panthers' varsity squad. Only three other PHS wrestlers — Bob Burnett (1949, 1951 and 1952), Claire Argento (1957, 1958 and 1959) and Jody Church (1989, 1990 and 1991) — have accomplished that feat.

“It was tough,” Carter said of his road to his third straight individual title. “Now I'm hoping I can get a fourth title next year.”

Carter also said it meant a great deal to him to be a part of a team to win back-to-back titles.

“This team title means a lot,” Carter said. “To win back-to-back titles is awesome. This is the first time it's happened in a long time (for Powell).”

The last time the Panthers won consecutive titles was during the 1974 and 1975 seasons.

During last weekend's action, Donarski capped his senior season in style by winning the 152-pound weight class.

It marked his second state title. His first came last season in the 130-pound weight class. By going 4-0 in Casper, Donarski finished the slate with an impressive 45-1 mark. He claimed this season's title at 152 by defeating Douglas' Trent Boner 18-6.

“Trevor's been a workhorse for us,” Urbach said. “He's been a contributor for us since the first time he stepped in the practice room. He's a two-time state champion and a two-time Ron Thon (Memorial Tournament) champion.

He's easily one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of Powell High School.”

In addition to three individual champions, the Panthers also finished the state tournament with three second-place finishers.

Utter, one of Urbach's seniors, was the runner-up at 103. He won his first three bouts in Casper, but suffered a 10-5 setback to Alex Klopp of Lander in the finals.

“Ren's been a staple for us at 103,” Urbach said. “He's a great kid, and he's meant so much to this team.”

Utter, who won the state title at in 2008, finished the season with a 34-11 record.

Also among the second-place finishers for PHS was Colt Nix. The sophomore opened the state tournament with a pair of victories, which landed him in the championship bout. In the title matchup, Nix faced Worland's Jorden Osbon. Osbon, whom Nix pinned in the title bout of the recent 3A West Regional Tournament, avenged that loss by pinning Nix at the 2:49 mark in Casper.

Nix, in defeat, handled the setback like a true sportsman by offering a congratulatory hug for Osbon. Nix finished the season with a 25-19 record.

Cole Kary, a junior, was Powell's third runner-up finisher last week. He went 3-0 at the tournament before dropping a 9-1 loss to Douglas' Pat Lehnen. Kary wrapped up the slate with a solid 28-10 record.

The Panthers third-place finishers last week were Eden (30-8) at 135, Kalberer (39-9) at 160 and junior Monte Nickles (26-12) at 189. Sophomore Jimmy Seckman (20-13) at 145 was PHS's lone fourth-place finisher, and freshman Randy Andrews (31-9) finished fifth at 130.

Joe Lujan (5-15) at 171 and Tyler Showalter (16-23) rounded out PHS's placing efforts. Both wrestlers placed sixth in Casper.

WHSAA 3A State Wrestling Championships (Final team standings)

1. Powell (242 points)

2. Douglas (204.5)

3. Lander (186)

4. Wheatland (165.5)

5. Worland (119.5)

6. Torrington (112)

7. Buffalo (95.5)

8. Mountain View (92)

9. Newcastle (69.5)

10. Jackson (67.5)

11. Rawlins (65.5)

12. Lovell (64)

13. Glenrock (56)

14. Cody (54)

15. Kemmerer (52)

WHSAA 3A State Wrestling Championships (Individual results for PHS)

• 103: Luke Wozney (14-13)

Won vs. Chaz McAuley, Wheatland, Fall 1:02

Lost vs. Alex Klopp, Lander, T-Fall, 20-4

Lost vs. Keanu Slovernick, Kemmerer, Dec 10-5

• 103 Ren Utter (34-11, 2nd Place)

Won vs. Keanu Slovernick, Kemmerer, Fall :36

Won vs. Jonathon Land, Buffalo, Fall :31

Won vs. Jesse Bassett, Lovell, Fall :39

Lost vs. Alex Klopp, Lander, Dec 14-7

• 112: Olie Olson (38- 9, 1st Place)

Won vs. Tyler Cearns, Torrington, Fall 2:39

Won vs. Dillon Von Rein, Lander, Dec 6-0

Won vs. Reed Burgener, Douglas, Fall 5:40

Won vs. Jackson Bassett, Lovell, Dec 10-4

• 125: Colt Nix Record (25-19, 2nd Place)

Won vs. Dylan Snodgrass, Rawlins, Fall 1:25

Won vs. Jake Budd, Lander, Dec 5-1

Lost vs. Jorden Osbon, Worland, Fall 2:49

• 125: Zach Thiel Record (6- 8)

Lost vs. Ryan Lewandowski, Torrington, Dec 10-7

Won vs. Kyle Dewey, Cody, Dec 10-6

Lost vs. Dylan Snodgrass, Rawlins, M-Dec 11-3

• 130: Randy Andrews (31- 9, 5th Place)

Won vs. Logan Tillman, Wheatland, Fall 4:29

Won vs. Austin Nicholson, Rawlins, Dec 6-2

Lost vs. Brode Bullington, Lander, Fall 5:47

Lost vs. Sergio Cortez, Torrington, Dec 6-3

Won vs. Jeremy Harmon, Mountain View, Dec 4-0

• 135: Cory Eden (30- 8, 3rd Place)

Won vs. Matthew Endecott, Kemmerer, Fall :29

Won vs. Brandon Leis, Buffalo, Fall 2:43

Lost vs. Houston Falkenburg, Douglas, Dec 11-4

Won vs. Chris Pitt, Lander, M-Dec 12-3

Won vs. Baron Muller, Kemmerer, Dec 1-0

• 140: Auston Carter (43- 5, 1st Place)

Won vs. Brian Hobbs, Rawlins, Frft

Won vs. Jesse Larralde, Newcastle, Fall 3:54

Won vs. J.T. Cattelan, Kemmerer, Fall 2:47

Won vs. Michael Hogan, Douglas, Dec 7-4

• 140: Clay Saldana (7- 6)

Lost vs. Ben Vetter, Torrington, Fall :45

Lost vs. Brigham Hopkin, Lovell, Fall 1:48

• 145: Cole Kary Record (28-10, 2nd Place)

Won vs. Randy Hitshew, Lander, Fall :41

Won vs. Jimmy Womack, Newcastle, Fall :17

Won vs. Jeff Redland, Worland, Dec 7-3

Lost vs. Pat Lehnen, Douglas, M-Dec 9-1

• 145: Jimmy Seckman Record (20-13, 4th Place)

Won vs. Eric Rothleutner, Worland, Fall 3:13

Won vs. Jared Chesbro, Buffalo, Dec 8-4

Lost vs. Pat Lehnen, Douglas, Dec 11-4

Won vs. Jamie Newman, Torrington, Fall 3:58

Lost vs. Jeff Redland, Worland, Dec 10-8

• 152: Beau Williams Record: 4- 3

Lost vs. Karl Fagnant, Rawlins, Dec 8-2

Won vs. Jordan Thornock, Jackson, Fall :32

Lost vs. Frankie Boda, Jackson, Dec 11-9

• 152: Trevor Donarski (45- 1, 1st Place)

Won vs. Brandon Lapp, Worland, Fall :27

Won vs. Justin Artery, Lander, Fall 1:11

Won vs. Dalton Self, Glenrock, Dec 10-3

Won vs. Trent Boner, Douglas, M-Dec 18-6

• 160: Cody Kalberer (39- 9, 3rd Place)

Won vs. Logan Muller, Worland, Fall 2:39

Won vs. Zak Owens, Douglas, Fall 3:33

Lost vs. Jace Jenson, Buffalo, Dec 10-7

Won vs. Andrew Walker, Jackson, Fall 1:28

Won vs. Sam Werner, Cody, Fall 2:46

• 160: Danny Harris Record (7- 8)

Lost vs. Zak Owens, Douglas, Fall 3:10

Won vs. Logan Muller, Worland, Fall 3:38

Won vs. Quinn Zimmerman, Wheatland, Dec 8-7

Lost vs. Andrew Walker, Jackson, Dec 7-5

• 171: Joe Lujan (5-15, 6th Place)

Lost vs. Colton Marrow, Lander, M-Dec

Won vs. Zeb Rose, Wheatland, Fall :42

Won vs. Cody Gilbertson, Mountain View, Fall :58

Lost vs. Mitch Schlager, Torrington, M-Dec 9-1

Lost vs. Andrew Litzel, Buffalo, Dec 5-0

• 189: Kurt Bullinger (5- 6)

Lost vs. Matt Gregory, Newcastle, Fall 2:33

Won vs. Roman Bastia, Worland, Frft

Lost vs. Dustin Finnerty, Wheatland, Fall 1:50

• 189: Monte Nickles (26-12, 3rd Place)

Won vs. Wynston Anglen, Mountain View, Fall 1:54

Won vs. Dustin Finnerty, Wheatland, Dec 7-6

Lost vs. Colter McNare, Douglas, Dec 5-2

Won vs. Jared Asay, Lovell, Fall 1:42

Won vs. Matt Gregory, Newcastle, Fall 3:59

• 215: Tyler Showalter Record (16-23, 6th Place)

Lost vs. Zack Rose, Wheatland, Fall 2:22

Won vs. Kade Brewster, Lander, Fall 1:34

Won vs. Rob Colomb, Douglas, Dec 14-9

Won vs. Brad Hanes, Cody, Fall 1:45

Lost vs. Adam Himrich, Newcastle, Dec 4-0

Lost vs. Bo Aimone, Mountain View, Fall 4:01

• 285: Trevor Griffith (14- 9)

Won vs. Jordan Trap, Buffalo, Fall :54

Lost vs. David Miller, Lander, Fall :41

Lost vs. Juan Deleon, Torrington, Fall 4:05