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State Wrestling Finals

Thunder Basin's Dalton McInerney's nose bleeds during the 285-pound final match of the Wyoming State High School Class 4A Wrestling Championships on Feb. 23 at the Casper Event Center.

A collection of 30 Wyoming wrestlers hit the mat for the first day of the 2019 NHSCA High School Nationals Wrestling tournament in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Friday. And through the first day of action against the rest of the country, just one Wyomingite remains in the winner’s bracket.

Thunder Basin senior and University of Wyoming signee Terren Swartz advanced through to Saturday’s quarterfinals following a perfect three consecutive pinfalls on Friday. The two-time defending state champion did not receive a bye and instead needed to wrestle in the Round of 64, which incidentally was his longest match of the day. Swartz scored a pin in 2:23 while leading 7-0 to start his day. Then came a pinfall at 100 seconds (while leading 6-1) before winning a 41-second Round-of-16 match.

Swartz is scheduled to face Tarik Sutkovic of Arizona in the 220-pound quarterfinals of the senior division tomorrow.

The other 29 Wyomingites did not fare as well. They will all open Saturday’s competition in the consolation brackets.

Carson Cantu of Pinedale and Dylen Johnsen of Thunder Basin will face each other in Saturday’s consolation bracket after being ousted from the championship bracket Friday. Johnsen lost in the Round of 64 in a 51-second pin while Cantu fell by pinfall at the very end of the first period. Other senior division wrestlers included Pinedale’s Kadar Criddle, who won his Round of 64 match by 7-1 decision and was bested in the Round of 32 by 4-2 decision, Pinedale’s Ethan Carson, who lost by pinfall in 48 seconds in his only match, Thunder Basin’s Riley Mitchell, who scored a 19-7 major decision before falling by 73-second pin, and the 195-pound duo of Kemmerer’s Hayden Walker and Pinedale’s Kolby Carson. Walker won his first match by 1-0 decision before falling by 8-6 decision while Carson dropped a 9-8 decision in the final 10 seconds.

None of the junior division advanced through the championship bracket. Kelly Walsh standout Jace Palmer fell by a narrow 4-3 decision in the 132-pound Round of 64. His Trojan teammate Kevin Anderson didn’t make it out of the Round of 128. Moorcroft’s Rowdy Pfeil fell in the round of 128 as well. Green River’s Payton Tucker and Douglas’ Cody Pinkerton both advanced to the Round of 16 in their respective weight classes before getting pinned. At 138, Riverton’s Ridge Briggs and Thunder Basin’s Warren Carr suffered the same fate. Thunder Basin’s Dalton McInerney lost his Round of 64 match at 285 pounds.

Nine Wyoming sophomores competed on Friday but none advanced unscathed. Thunder Basin’s Dylan Catlin made it to the Round of 16 before falling by 9-7 decision in extra time. Kelly Walsh’s Analu Benabise also won three matches to make the Round of 16 before falling by 8-5 decision. Cheyenne East’s Landon Trujillo fell by pinfall in the Round of 64 and Sheridan’s Hayden Crow lost by 2-1 decision in the Round of 64. Justin Vela of Sheridan lost in the Round of 32. Sheridan teammate Hunter Goodwin scored two big wins before falling by pinfall in the Round of 32.

Three Wyomingites wrestled at 126 in the sophomore division with Sheridan’s Reese Osborne going the furthest. Osborne won two matches before falling in the Round of 32 by 11-6 decision. Pinedale’s Keegan Gehlhausen scored one win before falling by major decision in the Round of 64 and Kelly Walsh’s Kyler Henderson lost by pin in the Round of 128.

Five freshmen from Wyoming competed. Sheridan’s Brock Steel wrestled at 145 and fell by pinfall in the Round of 32. Thunder Basin’s Seamus Casey and Pinedale’s Colton Gehlhausen each wrestled at 106 pounds and neither netted a win.

Consolation wrestling is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. MT on Saturday.

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Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @BradyOltmans

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High School Sports Reporter

Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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