Spiering, Ingraham and King place despite rigorous competition


Photo courtesy Cody Tucker, Douglas Budget

Daynon Mowry works an opponent at the Shane Shotto Memorial Tournament in Douglas last week.

he Saratoga Wrestling Team celebrated three wrestlers placing at the Shane Shatto Memorial Tournament last weekend. Head coach Jared Mason described a "tough tournament, to say the least."

"The level of competition was really amazing. They said it was the biggest and best tournament they've ever had," Mason continued, adding that they were trying to get seven matches completed per hour on four mats, and the tournament was of "incredible quality all the way through."

The Panthers have been putting themselves up against tough competition, facing state champs and top wrestlers from 3A, 4A and 5A schools. Mason said this effort will help the grapplers as they look to the state tournament later this year, and the 2A Panthers are showing skill, heart and effort by holding their own against some of the toughest competition in the state. Mason said the wrestlers picked up a lot of quality wins in Douglas.

Thatcher Spiering placed second in his 152-pound weight class, Thomas Ingraham fourth at 145 pounds and Jaxon King fourth at 120 pounds.

According to Mason, Spiering needed to gain confidence and take chances against the top 4A wrestler from Cheyenne East that won by decision in the match for first place. Spiering has been among the other Panthers that have proven themselves as tough competition against powerful schools this season.

Ingraham "wasn't his aggressive self" on Friday, Mason said, losing "a match that we'd like to have back" against a grappler from Thermopolis. On Saturday, Mason said he was aggressive and dominating like he usually is on Saturday, ultimately securing fourth place after losing in the third place match by a pin from a Laramie wrestler.

King "wrestled a hell of a tournament," Mason said. A tough loss by decision to a Douglas wrestler on his home turf, Mason commended King for his sportsmanship and keeping composure at the end of the match.

Varsity wrestlers Bradley Bifano and Daynon Mowry were at the mercy of "unfortunate draws and tough competition," Mason said. Bifano did not place, but he was up against the top 4A grapplers in his 138 weight class, which Mason described as "a very deep, good weight class." Against this competition, there was still a victory in how Bifano mixed up the competition.

Mowry, who fell short of placing as well, ended up against a state champion from Lander and a top wrester from Pueblo West, which is a 5A school, and lost the matches. Mason indicated that there was a huge level of competition in the 126 weight class at this tournament.

The fast-paced Shane Shatto Memorial Tournament led to a slower paced practice on Monday, where the plan was for the boys to recover while watching videos of positioning and technique examples. The week will progress with hard wrestling at practice that will utilize the strong competition within the team.

This weekend, they're off to the Don Runner Invitational in Pavillion. This invite will give the wrestlers exposure to more competition in the 2A class from the west region, letting the Panthers feel out the grapplers in their division. Mason acknowledges that he can't make predictions, but he wants to be confident that they'll go in and do well, focusing on the possibility that they may walk out with champions. Mason hopes his wrestlers are thinking the same thing. "That mental aspect in high school sports is key to believing in yourself and going out and wrestling with confidence," Mason said.

The Don Runner Invite starts at 4 p.m. on Friday and continues through Saturday.


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