Panthers take fourth in Carbon County Invite


H.B. Lawson

Chaze Wiant uses a single leg takedown against Jacob Mortensen of Lusk.

The Saratoga Panthers battled fang and claw to a fourth place overall finish at the Carbon County Invite last weekend. 20 teams visited Saratoga for the invitational and brought a great crowd with them in addition to the loyal Panther fans who also showed up in force. The Panthers fought through sickness and injuries to place well in the tournament impressing their coaches.

"Our boys really stepped up and competed ... Kyle Bartlett and Marshall Hill in particular. They both placed here. They both lost early in the tournament and wrestled back tough," Panthers head coach Jared Mason said.

Daynon Mowry started up the brackets in the 126 weight category with a win by fall at 41 seconds over Patrick Phelps from Big Piney; Mowry's next bout with Kurt Leesberg from Dubois was an ordeal, but he overcame Leesberg at the 5:66 mark by fall. Mowry next faced off with Rowdy Cranston from Moorcroft and made it quickly past with a win by fall at 56 seconds. Next up for Mowry was Connor Wilkinson from Shoshoni. Wilkinson had taken out Mowry's teammate, Wyatt Carricato in the first round and did the same to Mowry in the championship round, beating Mowry to first place by decision 4-2 in overtime.

In the 132 class, both Thomas Ingraham and Hunter Mason chewed through their opponents to face off with one another in an epic show down in the championship round where Ingraham took first place and Mason right behind him with a second place finish and a final score of 2-1.

"I didn't see the match, but I heard it was a battle. You know its tough as a dad mat-side so I just left. Those guys both want to be champions and that's what it takes. They just got after each other," said coach Mason.

It was Panther versus Panther again in the 138 weight class with Chaze Wiant and Kyle Bartlett moving up the brackets to meet in the championship round with Wiant placing third and Bartlett fourth in their class.

Thatcher Spiering turned in an impressive performance, winning some hard fought matches and taking down Brett Wassburg from Moorcroft with a win by major decision 12-2 and securing third place for his matches in the 145 weight class.

Marshal Hill took a tough early loss in his first match with Tommy Schlater but sucked it up and climbed his way back up the brackets with wins by decision over Kody Criddle from Pine Bluffs, Brayden Castagano from Jackson, and Nate Clark from Cokeville to have another go at Schlater in the championship round where Hill beat him out for a fifth place finish, knocking Schlater down to sixth.

Regionals are next up for the Panthers in Hulett where the top eight wrestlers from each weight will qualify for state. Head coach Mason is confident his boys can all qualify and he's hoping he will get Jackson King back next week for the 113 weight class.

On the Carbon County Invitational, "It was a real fun and exciting tournament for us. It's always great to wrestle at home. I wish we had the tournament here every year," Mason said.


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