PHS wrestling wins regional tournament

Posted 2/23/21

All season long, Powell High School wrestling coach Nick Fulton’s mantra has been simple: getting slightly better each week. Last weekend, the Panthers’ steady improvement was on full …

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PHS wrestling wins regional tournament


All season long, Powell High School wrestling coach Nick Fulton’s mantra has been simple: getting slightly better each week. Last weekend, the Panthers’ steady improvement was on full display. 

PHS took first place at the 3A Northwest regional tournament in Riverton Friday. PHS wrestlers who won their weight classes were Nate Balderas (106 pounds), Logan Werner (120), Riley Bennett (145) and Seth Horton (152). Additionally, Weston Thomas (113 pounds), Emma Karhu (126) and Jimmy Dees (195) finished second in their respective brackets. 

“It’s all coming together,” Fulton said. “We’re continuing to improve, and it’s nice to see that pay off in a tournament setting.”

In Riverton, Fulton noted the Panthers’ strength late in matches, winning several in the third round. From top to bottom, every member of Powell’s team wrestled hard at regionals, with 13 of Powell’s wrestlers qualifying for state. Seven of them will be seeded in the top eight. 

“It’s hard to predict those type of things,” Fulton said. “Our mentality has been one match at a time, and more than that, one point at a time. You have to give a lot of credit to the kids.”

The coach admitted he was disappointed with his team’s showings in duals earlier this season, but since then, the team has steadily grown to an elite squad. Fulton said he’s been impressed with how his athletes have fought through adversity.

“There were numerous times where the wheels could’ve come off the bus,” he said. “I can’t say enough about how well these kids have hung in there. Every single one of them has competed and gotten better.”

After the dominant performance at regionals, the Panthers have one event remaining in the 2020-21 season: the 3A State Meet in Casper. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Ford Wyoming Center. Championship matches are set for 4:30 p.m.

All of the team’s development has led to this point, and Fulton hopes the PHS squad brings the same energy Friday as it did in Riverton. 

“It would sure be nice to have that same mentality in Casper,” Fulton said. “We have immense maturity for a young team, and we’re going to try and go out and score.”



106: Nate Balderas 4-0, 1st place

Balderas def. Eian Smith (Pinedale)

Balderas def. Kolby Heil (Lander)

Balderas def. Ty Peterson (Cody)

Balderas def. Coaltyn Laird (Lander)

106: Trey Freeman 0-2

Taylor Baggs (Cody) def. Freeman

Talon Thoman (Riverton) def. Freeman

113: Weston Thomas 2-1, 2nd place

Thomas def. Keegan Stephenson (Lander)

Thomas def. Dustin Larsen (Pinedale)

Jake Hammer (Pinedale) def. Thomas

120: Logan Werner 3-0, 1st place

Werner def. Wyatt Griffin (Pinedale)

Werner def. Chad Snyder (Lander)

Werner def. Tristan Haley (Pinedale)

120: Hadley Mehling 1-2

Blaze Laird (Lander) def. Mehling

Mehling def. Ben Hogan (Cody)

Chad Snyder (Lander) def. Mehling

126: Emma Karhu 2-1, 2nd place

Karhu def. Taylorae Kuegeler (Riverton)

Karhu def. Micah Grant (Cody)

Charles Snyder (Lander) def. Karhu

126: Vincent Timmons 1-2, 4th place

Charles Snyder (Lander) def. Timmons

Timmons def. Micah Grant (Cody)

Ethan Kemp (Pinedale) def. Timmons

132: Brent Childers 1-2

Trenton Hubbs (Cody) def. Childers

Childers def. Hunter Smith-Velarde (Lander)

Dalton Leach (Riverton) def. Childers

132: Andrew Valdez 0-2

Dalton Leach (Riverton) def. Valdez

Kash Merritt (Cody) def. Valdez

138: Mikey Timmons 1-2

Gabe Harris (Lander) def. Timmons

Timmons def. Lakoda Officer (Riverton)

Rhett Stover (Riverton) def. Timmons

138: Caleb Cruz 0-2

Cody Phelps (Pinedale) def. Cruz

Rhett Stover (Riverton) def. Cruz

145: Riley Bennett 3-0, 1st place

Bennett def. Michael Munda (Riverton)

Bennett def. Conor Carey (Lander)

Bennett def. Taylor Richey (Pinedale)

145: Jack Van Norman 1-2

Taylor Richey (Pinedale) def. Van Norman

Van Norman def. Robert Peterson (Lander)

Conor Carey (Lander) def. Van Norman

152: Horton 3-0, 1st place

Horton def. Zayne McClain (Pinedale)

Horton def. Dylan Campbell (Cody)

Horton def. Brady Deming (Cody)

152: Merced Jordan-Silva 2-2, 4th place

Dylan Campbell (Cody) def. Jordan-Silva

Zayne McClain (Pinedale) def. Jordan-Silva

Jordan-Silva def. Donald Grosch (Riverton)

Dylan Campbell (Cody) def. Jordan-Silva

160: Lannon Brazelton 3-1, 3rd place

Brazelton def. Tucker Kelly (Pinedale)

Jackson Wood (Cody) def. Brazelton

Brazelton def. Kade Fitzgerald (Cody)

Brazelton def. Tucker Kelly (Pinedale)

160: Seston Shoopman 1-2

Shoopman def. Kadin Garcia (Lander)

Kaleb Bigelow (Pinedale) def. Shoopman

Tucker Kelly (Pinedale) def. Shoopman

170: Stetson Davis 2-2, 4th place

Davis def. Christian Moss (Lander)

Keegan Gehlhausen (Pinedale) def. Davis

Davis def. Dillon Melton (Powell)

Grayson Beaudrie (Cody) def. Davis

170: Dillon Melton 0-2

Grayson Beaudrie def. Melton

Stetson Davis (Powell) def. Melton

182: Karson Lamb 2-1, 3rd place

Keaton Stone (Cody) def. Lamb

Lamb def. Ryan Watson (Riverton)

Lamb def. Collin Lindemann (Cody)

195: Jimmy Dees 1-1, 2nd place

Dees def. Ian Cantu (Pinedale)

Kaden Gantenbein (Riverton) def. Dees

195: Jonathan Harms 1-1, 3rd place

Kaden Gantenbein (Riverton) def. Harms

Harms def. Ian Cantu (Pinedale)

220: Adam Flores 2-1, 3rd place

Flores def. Zaryc Prosser (Riverton)

Lyric Gordon (Riverton) def. Flores

Flores def. Zaryc Prosser (Riverton)

220: Clayton Emmett 0-2

Jonas Mickelson (Cody) def. Emmett

Zaryc Prosser (Riverton) def. Emmett

285: Nevan McDonald 0-1, 3rd place

Cody Cunningham (Lander) def. McDonald


Click here for more photos from the Panther's wrestling season.