Saratoga Wrestlers Compete in Regionals, Advance to State

The SMHS Panther wrestling team boarded the bus early Friday for the long trek to Regionals, which was held on Saturday in Tongue River. The focus of the coaching staff all season has been the State tournament, and all eight wrestlers who competed qualified for next week’s tournament. Overall, the boys competed well, and it is quite an accomplishment that all of the wrestlers made it to the final weekend.

Regional wrestling awards medals to the top four finishers, with the top eight in each weight class advancing to State. The first four are seeded at State, while the bottom four from each weight class at regionals are randomly drawn for their placement in the State bracket.

After heavy contemplation, Freshman Ace Arnold made the weighty decision to wrestle up to 113 pounds. The considerably more cumbrous competition at 113 was a big step, but Arnold managed to secure 4th place for the Panthers. He first decisioned Redmond from Wright in the quarterfinals, but then fell to two-time State champion Dane Humes (Moorcroft) in the semis. Next, Ace battled out a win over Smith from Tongue River in a major decision. Arnold was unable to overcome Vrana (Upton) in the consolation finals, and brought home the 4th place medal.

Senior Tuker Carricato placed second at 126 pounds. He tech-falled Barker (Tongue River) for his first victory then pinned teammate Ben Miller in his second match. The semifinal matchup for Carricato was against another Tongue River opponent, Trey Breen. Tuker dispatched Breen by major decision and moved on to a finals matchup against Wyatt Sylvester (LFLSE). It was a tough, back and forth match until the final seconds, when Carricato got caught mid-move and lost by fall with two seconds left.

Also at 126, Ben Miller had a solid tournament and placed 6th. He first wrestled teammate Tuker Carricato. While he was eventually pinned, Miller was able to get a takedown on Tuker, a rare accomplishment by any Wyoming wrestler this year. Ben next had a great pin against Bowen (Upton) before losing to Sundance’s Mayberry in consolation round three.

Chase Brown continued the State train for Togie by also placing 6th at 132. He fought hard but lost to #1 ranked Braydnn Terry from Moorcroft by fall. Chase also wrestled well against Watkins (Tongue River) in his second bout. Eventually, Brown succumbed to the Watkins attack.

Saratoga had two wrestlers at 138 pounds, Skyler Wood and Allyster Ingraham. In one of the oddities of the regional tournament random place selection process, Ingraham beat Wood in the wrestle backs, but still placed 8th to Wood’s 6th.

Skyler began the day on the mat against state #3 Pace Garrett from Wright. While Skyler was unable to overcome the Garrett onslaught, he did pin his next opponent, Braxton Winfrey from Tongue River. Wood’s final match at regionals was a loss to teammate Ingraham.

The other 138 pound wrestler, Allyster Ingraham lost his first match by fall to Feyereisen from LFLSE. Ingraham next had a nice comeback win against Fouch (Sundance), followed by his victory over teammate Skyler Wood. Allyster’s final fight was in the consolation semis against Cook from Moorcroft. Ingraham lost by fall in the second period.

The other Panther Senior on the team, Doug Campbell, placed seventh after battling several wrestlers ranked in the top five in the state. Campbell began with a decisive victory over Foster from Hulett. Doug wrestled well in his next two matches, first against Vollmer (Tongue River) and Heimdale (Wright), but he was unable to overcome either of his opponents.

215 pound entrant Atom Lindsey had two matches at regionals and brought home 7th place for the Panthers. His initial bout was versus McFarlin (LFLSE). Lindsey couldn’t quite get the better of McFarlin and lost by decision. Atom’s final contest was another close decision, but he eventually yielded to Lesser from Glenrock.

Overall, Saratoga Wrestling took 7th out of 10 teams.

The Panther wrestling team leaves Wednesday for State, and all of the boys have a tough road to reach the championship. They will all get three days of intense practice to prepare for the tournament. Wrestling begins at Noon on Thursday at the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper.


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