Blazer wrestlers qualify 15 for state

Jordyn Bennett/Rawlins Daily Times Torrington senior Jacob Polkowske attempts to roll over his opponent over the weekend at the Class 3A East Regional Wrestling Tournament. Polkowkse won the 160 pound bracket.

RAWLINS – Torrington High School qualified 15 wrestlers for the Class 3A State Wrestling Championships on Friday and Saturday.

As a result, the Blazers finished fourth in the 3A East Regional Wrestling Championships with 188.5 points. Douglas won the East Regional Championship with 285 points, while Worland was second with 195. Rawlins was third with 194.

Madison McCart (113 pounds), Quentin Meyer (126), Michael Sandusky (126), Pake Haun (132), Austin Fox (138), Tristen Kingsley (145), Casey Britton (152), Jacob Polkowske (160), Kevin Ferguson (160), Tyler Juma (170), Josh Kingsley (170), Gabe Mitchell (182), Rhiley Grubbs (195), Brandon Deen (220) and Brandon Bennick (285) all reached the state tournament which begins Friday at the Casper Events Center.

The Blazers had a total of three grapplers – Meyer, Tristen Kingsley and Polkowske – reach the championship matches of their respective weight classes.

Polkowske was the lone regional champion of the weekend.

“We had a great couple of days,” THS coach Doyle Meyer said. “It was awesome to see Polkowske pick up the Regional Championship. It’s always a great day when you qualify 15 wrestlers for the state tournament.”

Polkowske rattled off three pins to reach the championship bout and won a 6-2 decision over Luke Goncalves of Worland to claim the 160-pound regional title.

In the 126-pound bracket, Meyer pinned his way to the championship match but fell by a 7-4 decision to Dallas Lopez of Buffalo in the title bout.

At 145 pounds, Tristen Kingsley tallied a 16-0 technical fall and a pin in the quarterfinal round. In the semifinal round, he scored a 7-4 decision to advance to the championship.

Kingsley dropped a 2-1 decision in the title match to Buffalo’s Levi Bezold.

“I was very proud of how both Meyer and TK (Tristen Kingsley) performed by placing second,” Meyer said. “We wrestled very tough matches, that I think we can improve on for the state tournament next week.”

At 132 pounds, Haun finished his weekend off with a win in the third-place match with pin of Devon Swisher of Douglas.

After being pinned in the opening round, Haun rattled off five straight wins – all by fall – to claim third.

In the 138-pound bracket, Fox also finished third. He reached the semifinal round before suffering his first loss of the day. Fox rebounded to win the next two bouts to claim third.

“It’s pretty impressive to see two unseeded wrestlers in the tournament increase the intensity of their wrestling and place third, both Pake Haun and Austin Fox did this,” Meyer said.

Bennick was the third Blazer to finish the day with a win and a third-place finish. He also reached the semifinal round before suffering a 4-2 in an ultimate tie-breaker. Bennick battled back to finish the day with a pair of pins to finish third.

At 170-pounds, Josh Kingsley reached the semifinal round before dropping a 11-9 decision. He picked up a pin in the consolation semifinal to advance to the third-place match, dropping the bout by a 4-2 decision.

In the 182-pound bracket, Gabe Mitchell finished also fourth. He dropped his first match of the weekend before rattling off four straight wins to reach the third-place bout where he was pinned by Lash Branigan of Burns-Pine Bluffs.

McCart (fifth), Sandusky (eighth), Britton (eighth), Ferguson (sixth), Juma (eighth) and Deen (eighth) also placed for the Blazers at the regional tournament.

The opening round of the Class 3A State Wrestling Championships begin at 9 a.m. Friday at the Casper Events Center. Action resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to the state tournament,” Meyer said. “It’s always a great venue and amazing event to cumulate the sport of wrestling in the great state of Wyoming.”

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