The Cody wrestling team had four placers during the Lander Invitational last weekend.
“The Lander Invite is a good indicator of how teams and individuals could possibly place at state near the end of February,” coach Trev Wood said. “However, it is too early to take this ‘predictor’ too serious. Our athletes are still making adjustments to technique, learning from mistakes and working to improve.”
Cody finished eighth during the tournament, which featured more than 20 teams. Star Valley took first, Powell second, Worland third and Douglas fourth.
“I thought the team did good overall and we are getting better as a team,” sophomore Brady Deming said.
Charlie Beaudrie (195 pounds) finished second with a 3-1 record. He pinned Kyle Logar of Douglas, Kolton Keslar of Burns and Rhiley Grubbs of Torrington to advance to the title match.
Facing Trent Clark of Star Valley, Beaudrie lost a 7-5 decision.
“One of our of better performances came from two-timer Charlie Beaudrie, who ended up second to Star Valley’s Clark,” Wood said. “It’s the first time they’ve met.”
Deming (145) finished third, going 4-1.
“Brady is our most consistent guy on the team,” Wood said. “He is on the attack 100% of the time and never backs down from a good challenge.”
Deming won his first two matches by fall over Colton Woffinden of Worland and Jacob Walker of Star Valley. In the semifinals he lost by fall to Ridge Briggs of Riverton.
He earned a medical forfeit win over Noah Whitfield of Wheatland to advance to the third-place match, where he won by major decision over Levi Bezold of Rawlins 12-3.
“I was happy by placing third because I wrestled well throughout the tournament,” Deming said. “My best match was my third-place match against the Rawlins kid.”
Zain Fitzgerald (138) placed fourth.
“I feel like I wrestled pretty good this weekend,” he said. “It feels good to place. I haven’t had much mat time this year because of my injury. The matches I lost I know I definitely could win.”
After losing in the quarterfinals, he won three straight matches including by fall over Colby Bennett of Powell and by major decision over Riggen Walker of Kemmerer.
“I think my best match was in the wrestle back against the Kemmerer kid,” Fitzgerald said. “I wrestled very well. I stayed in good position scoring points and not allowing any points to be scored on me. “
In the third-place match he lost to Keegan Meyer of Wheatland 5-1.
“Zain is a tough kid who took some punishment from opponents, but he stayed calm, continued to wrestle, and came out victorious in two brawls,” Wood said.
Matt Stroble (113) finished sixth, going 2-3. He defeated Colby Smith of Burns and Kobe Swain of Worland by fall. In the fifth-place match he lost by 9-1 major decision to Logan Werner of Powell.
“Matt Stroble had his debut at 113 pounds this week,” Wood said. “Fighting a little illness, Matt was able to win a few matches to place top six. The combination of illness and dropping a weight class took its toll on Matt, but we expect him to rebound and get after it.”
Drew Trotter (160) and Jace Grant (182) went 2-2, Matt Sandoval (138), Jackson Wood (152), Will Thomasson (160), Jonas Mickelson (182) and Jonny Williams (220) 1-2, and Keaton Stone (170) 0-2
In JV, Noa Vega (170) finished first with a 3-0 record. In the championship he defeated TK Stinson of Douglas by fall.
Kale Mickelson (113) finished second with a 2-1 record, and Dylan Campbell (138) went 4-1 and Bryce Stewart (160) 3-2 to take third. Ghavin Vance (132), Tanner Blatt (138) and Chayden Scotz (285) went 1-2.
This weekend Cody travels to Riverton for the Ron Thon Invite. It’s one of the toughest competitions in the state.
“I enjoy the tough competition,” Fitzgerald said. “We get to wrestle opponents from 2A and 4A schools we don’t normally get to wrestle. Plus we get to test our abilities and skills against some of the best kids in the state.”