Panthers finish seventh at state

Horton runner-up

Posted 3/2/21

After a season of continuous growth, Powell High School wrestling’s final outing of the 2020-21 season was bittersweet.

Between several impressive performances, as well as a few …

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Panthers finish seventh at state

Horton runner-up


After a season of continuous growth, Powell High School wrestling’s final outing of the 2020-21 season was bittersweet.

Between several impressive performances, as well as a few heartbreaking ones, Powell finished seventh as a team at Friday’s 3A State Wrestling Championships in Casper. All four seniors medaled (finishing in sixth place or better), and Powell’s top individual finisher was Seth Horton, who placed second in the 152-pound class to earn All-State honors. Star Valley finished first with 228 team points, with Powell collecting 104 points. 

“It was a roller coaster for sure,” said PHS head coach Nick Fulton. “In a one-day tournament like that, there are a lot of emotions there. Overall it was a good performance.”

At 106 pounds, senior Nate Balderas wrestled six matches and clawed back to fourth place after dropping his opening bout. Balderas won four in a row before dropping the third-place match. 

Fellow senior Emma Karhu had a “solid tournament,” Fulton said, finishing fifth. In the 126-pound class, she wrestled six matches as well and did a “tremendous job,” the coach said. 

Senior Riley Bennett won a “gutty match” over Jake Hicks of Wheatland in the quarterfinals before falling in the semifinals. Bennett bounced back after the loss, wrestling his way back to fourth place, which Fulton called a “great ending to his career.”

The team’s only returning state champion, Horton, finished second. Fulton said it was “heartbreaking” to see him fall in the finals to Star Valley’s Haze Child, but that Horton entered “with a good game plan and did everything we asked of him.”

With four medalists graduating from the program, the 2021 senior class will be missed in the coming years. 

“They had high aspirations for themselves and showed a lot of grit,” Fulton said. “When the goal of being a state champion was taken away, they were all able to rebound and win matches. They showed what they’re made of.”

Junior Logan Werner and sophomore Vinny Timmons, also medaled at 120 and 126 pounds, respectively, putting together “great tournaments,” said Fulton. Werner pinned Douglas’ Christian Johnson in 2:37 to secure fifth place, while Timmons fell to Powell’s Emma Karhu in the fifth-place match to end up sixth. 

Fulton is looking forward to a “bright” future for his program. With a strong crop of returners and his assistant coaches Juston Carter and Cody Kalberer planning to continue in their roles, Fulton sees success on the horizon for PHS wrestling. 

“We’ll take one week off, then we’ll begin working on next year’s plan,” Fulton said. “We’ll get a lot of those young kids ready to go next year. I’m thankful for a great staff to help these kids develop.”


Team scores:

1. Star Valley 228, 2. Douglas 202, 3. Worland 165.5, 4. Green River 148.0, 5. Pinedale 135, 6. Cody 105.5, 7. Powell 104, 8. Burns/Pine Bluffs  91, 9. Lander Valley 90, 10. Lyman 77.5, 11. Rawlins 70, 12. Newcastle/Upton 66.5, 13. Torrington 56, 14. Riverton 51,14. Wheatland 51, 16. Mountain View 43, 17. Buffalo 11


106: Nate Balderas, fourth place

Taylor Baggs (Cody) def. Balderas

Balderas def. Lucas Phipps (Rawlins)

Balderas def. Adrian Trujillo (Rawlins)

Balderas def. Anthony Martinez (Worland)

Balderas def. Baggs

Bridger Smith (Star Valley) def. Balderas 


113: Weston Thomas

Thomas def. Teila Peters (Buffalo)

Nycholas Melchor (Douglas) def. Thomas

Kobe Swain (Worland) def. Thomas


120: Logan Werner, fifth place

Werner def. Nick Weipert (Green River)

Werner def. Baylen Smith (Burns-Pine Bluffs)

Waylon Nelson (Star Valley) def. Werner

Thomas Dalton (Green River) def. Werner

Werner def. Christian Johnson (Douglas)


126: Emma Karhu, fifth place

Karhu def. Ethan Guzman (Green River)

Luke Ewing (Douglas) def. Karhu

Karhu def. Sage Lonn (Rawlins)

Karhu def. Ethan Kemp (Pinedale)

Kai Burk (Star Valley) def. Karhu

Karhu def. Vinny Timmons (Powell)


126: Vinny Timmons, sixth place

Timmons def. Colton Briscoe (Buffalo)

Charles Snyder (Lander) def. Timmons

Timmons def. Hayden Hocker (Wheatland)

Timmons def. Jonathan Morgan (Newcastle)

Luke Ewing (Douglas) def. Timmons

Emma Karhu (Powell) def. Timmons


138: Mikey Timmons

Conor Manlove (Burns Pine-Bluffs) def. Timmons

Timmons def. Mauriccio Grimaldo (Wheatland)

Aidan Coberly (Newcastle) def. Timmons


145: Riley Bennett, fourth place

Bennett def. Justin Newberry (Riverton)

Bennett def. Jake HIcks (Wheatland)

Lane Ewing (Douglas) def. Bennett

Bennett def. Xavier Jirak (Star Valley)

Logan Branigan (Burns Pine-Bluffs) def. Bennett


152: Seth Horton, second place

Horton def. Colby Stockton (Burns Pine-Bluffs)

Horton def. Dylan Campbell (Cody)

Horton def. Zach Weipert (Green River)

Haze Child (Star Valley) def. Horton


160: Lannon Brazelton

Joseph Thompson (Star Valley) def. Brazelton

Bryce Woffinden (Worland) def. Brazelton


170: Stetson Davis

Davis def. Maxx Meyer (Wheatland)

Skylar Jenkins (Newcastle) def. Davis

Davis def. Daniel Harris (Mountain View)

Jace Skovgard (Buffalo) def. Davis


182: Karson Lamb

Lamb def. Cody Winslow (Burns Pine-Bluffs)

Keaton Stone (Cody) def. Lamb

Lamb def. Caleb Hyche (Wheatland)

Ralph Moreno (Worland) def. Lamb


195: Jonathan Harms

Kaden Gantenbein (Riverton) def. Harms

Weslee Turner (Star Valley) def. Harms


195: Jimmy Dees

Kenai Bergquist (Douglas) def. Dees

Sam Birdsall (Torrington) def. Dees


220: Adam Flores

Sam Sorenson (Torrington) def. Flores

Lyric Gordon (Riverton) def. Flores


285: Nevan McDonald

Carter White (Star Valley) def. McDonald

Dan Becker (Cody) def. McDonald