WYOMING – Pinedale wrestlers competed in an eventful, action-packed week, winning five out of six duels.
On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Wranglers challenged Lyman and Star Valley on the mat. Pinedale scored a significant 60-12 win over Lyman but fell to Star Valley, 55-21.
On Friday, Jan. 22, the team boarded the bus for the Lander Invitational. Pinedale pulled out wins against Riverton, 58-18, and Lander, 42-30, before winning a close match against Powell, 41-39.
The Wranglers met the Punchers in Big Piney for a sixth duel on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Pinedale came out the winner, 53-30.
In the 132-pound weight class, junior Cody Phelps scored the first win when he pinned Sean Rogers less than a minute into the first period. Fellow junior Colton Gehlhausen followed up in the 138-pound weight class when he made quick work of Paxton Garner, winning by fall in 28 seconds.
Senior Kaleb Bigelow took down Jean Nelson in the 160-pound weight class, pinning his opponent in the second period. Keegan Gehlhausen, a senior in the 170-pound weight class, defeated Jayden Brown by fall 21 seconds into the first period.
Freshman Austin Green pinned Rustin Van Gieson in the second period of the 182-pound matchup. In the 220-pound class, sophomore Ian Cantu won by fall in the first period over Tyler Covolo.
Freshmen Ian Smith (106 pounds), Jake Hammer (113 pounds) and Dustin Larsen (120 pounds) and sophomore Ethan Kemp (126 pounds) all won by open forfeit.
Hammer won his matchup with Peyton Andrews in the second period. Phelps scored his second win of the day by pinning Kaleb Fila halfway into the second period.
Bigelow pinned Joseph Thompson in the first period. Keegan Gehlhausen pulled out a win by 5-2 decision against Harrison Hoopes.
Pinedale faced stiff competition in Lander, competing against primary conference rivals the team will see at the regional tournament.
"We did awesome and won all three duels," said head coach Kendall Horrocks. "These are the kids they have to beat to go to State. Overall, I am very proud of how they wrestled. They did what they had to do."
The duel against Powell proved to be the toughest, with Pinedale edging out a win by two points.
"This was the first time since our program began 11 years ago that we beat Powell in a duel," Horrocks said.
Bigelow "pretty handily beat" the fifth-ranked wrestler in the state, Riley Bennett, during the Powell duels, Horrocks added.
Keegan Gehlhausen also got a taste of the postseason in a tightly fought match against Jack Sweeney of Lander. Both wrestlers are two-time State Champions.
Several Pinedale athletes went undefeated at Lander – Hammer, Phelps, Colton Gehlhausen, Bigelow and Keegan Gehlhausen.
Smith, Kemp and senior Taylor Richey went 2-1. Green picked up a win in the Lander duel. Freshman Fisher Vance scored a win in the 120-pound weight class during the Riverton duel.
Big Piney duel
Hammer took down Jackie Meador in the first match of the afternoon, fighting into the third period before winning by fall.
Junior Tristan Haley scored a win by pinning Bradley Rodda in the second period of the 120-pound weight class. Phelps defeated Braunsn Smith by a 16-0 technical fall.
Colton Gehlhausen battled Jaron Petty into the second period when he took his opponent down by fall.
Bigelow fought Karson Cline, pinning his opponent early in the first period. Keegan Gehlhausen pinned James McCormick 1 minute, 35 seconds into the first period.
Green picked up a win when he won by fall over Kael Visser a minute into the match.
Smith and Kemp won by open forfeit.