Four individual gold medalists powered Kelly Walsh throughout the weekend and lifted the Trojans to a team title at the 2019 Shane Shatto Memorial Invitational in Douglas on Saturday afternoon.
Jace Palmer (132 pounds), Josh Kraus (152), Kevin Anderson (160) and Kole Kraus (170) all won their respective weight classes to help the Trojans continue their strong start to the season and win the annual meet by 37 points. Analu Benabise also gave the Trojans a second-place finish at 145 pounds in a gut-wrenching tie-breaker loss. Noah Hone (126) and Jesus Alvarado (220) both earned third-place finishes.
The successful weekend is a continuation of the Trojans’ early successes. They have been the highest-placing Wyoming team at every meet they’ve competed in so far and crushed Gering, Nebraska, in a dual at Kelly Walsh on Thursday.
“Tonight we looked great,” Kelly Walsh head coach Travis Peak said after the 66-6 win on Thursday. “And up until this point everyone that’s wrestled has looked great. We’ve had some kids out with injuries and sickness and whatnot but the dudes that are in there are looking good. Looking real good.”
Palmer pinned Natrona County’s Cyrus Meeks in the championship match to improve to 17-1 on the season. Josh Kraus pinned Cheyenne East sophomore standout Jackson Hesford to earn the title while Kole Kraus defeated Burns/Pine Bluffs’ Boe Clayson by a major decision. Anderson won the championship by a narrow 3-1 decision.
Thunder Basin’s Warren Carr defeated Benabise with an extra-period escape to keep the sophomore from winning a second championship at the Shane Shatto. Carr won the tournament (and eventual state championship) at 132 pounds last year.
Alvarado lost to Douglas’ Cody Pinkerton in the semifinals by 6-4 sudden victory, forcing him to settle for third. Hone lost in the quarterfinals by the identical score before winning the consolation bracket by major decision, pin, technical fall and decision.
“Our goal is first at state,” Hone said after Thursday’s dual. “Push each other in practice, work hard and I think it’ll come.”
Thunder Basin finished second with gold medalists in Carr; Wyoming signee Terren Swartz (220); and heavyweight Dalton McInerney, who pinned reigning state champion Trevon Smith from Natrona County in less than a minute for the title. It was Smith’s first loss of the season.
Natrona County had two champions in freshman Billy Brenton (113) and senior Yahav Shraiber (195). The Mustangs finished fourth in the team standings, just one point behind third-place Cheyenne East.
Junior standout Amos Solano gave the Thunderbirds their only individual champion at 120 with a 5-3 decision over Glenrock standout Tate Stoddard. East also had the aforementioned Hesford and Noah Gallegos (126) wrestling in championship matches but both settled for silver.
Lander’s Nathan Redman resumed his standout senior season with a 3-1 decision over Glenrock’s Brysen Collier at 138. Collier was one of three Herders to compete in championship matches on Saturday but only senior Ian Arnold was able to capture gold. Arnold scored a pin against Kyle Thurin from Burns/Pine Bluffs for the championship.
Gering, Nebraska, had two champions in Quinton Chavez (106) and Nate Rocheleau (126).
Some Wyoming teams in the Southwest corner of the state competed in the annual Thoman Soda Ash Memorial. Green River was the standout team from the Cowboy state, handily winning Pool A before finished second in the Gold Bracket. Uintah, Utah, defeated the Wolves 52-24 for the defacto championship dual.
Worland, the No. 3 team in the Class 3A rankings, won the Silver Bracket.