Three members of the Thunder Basin High School wrestling team walked away from the Casper Events Center as state champions in their respective weight class Saturday night at the Class 4A State Wrestling Championships.
Freshman Antonio Avila (113 pounds), senior Jeric Igo (126) and sophomore Lane Catlin (220) came out on top of their brackets and helped push Thunder Basin to a third place finish as a team in the tournament.
Catlin's pin over Evanston's Rigan Hoggatt in the championship match put the cap on the sophomore's perfect 38-0 season.
Natrona County won the team title with a score of 247.5, followed by Sheridan (243.5), Thunder Basin (224), Cheyenne East (188), Kelly Walsh (160), Rock Springs (114), Evanston (98.5), Cheyenne Central (87), Campbell County (86.5), Laramie (81), Jackson (38) and Cheyenne South (35).
The Bolts qualified 19 wrestlers and 11 of them placed in the top-6 in the state tournament. Freshman Jais Rose (132 pounds), senior Dylan Catlin (138) and junior Cael Porter (152) all placed second after losses in the championship match.
Six wrestlers for Thunder Basin wrestled in the championship match for their weight class.
"They all wrestled well," TBHS coach Mikah Kadera said. "Even the guys that didn't win it, they all wrestled well and had a great tournament and great seasons.
"We put six in the finals and all six wanted to win it. Those kids worked their butts off all year."
Junior Seamus Casey took third place at 145 pounds while junior Alex Draper (120) and junior Aidyn Mitchell (182) both took fourth place for the Bolts. Sophomore Aden Jorgensen (170) and Dillon Glick (195) both placed fifth.
Wrestling back for placement after a loss in the tournament is what makes a great teammate, Kadera said. Casey, for example, lost in the semifinals and came back and won the third place match to earn as many team points as he could.
"It just shows a lot of heart," Kadera said. "Your goal is obviously to be a state champ but I always use the phrase 'If something gets taken away from you, you gotta go get the next best thing.'
"There wasn't a doubt in his mind because as soon as he walked off that mat after unfortunately losing in the semis, he said 'I have to come back for third.'"
For Campbell County, 14 wrestlers were qualified for the state tournament. The Camels' ninth place finish was led by sophomore Darron Provost who took second place at 113 pounds after losing to Thunder Basin's Avila by 11-5 decision in the championship match.
Three Camels placed third, including junior Colt Welsh (113), freshman Logan Johnson (126) and sophomore Blake Harding (138). Junior Lucas Hill (132) and senior Colter Rankin (285) both took sixth place.
For more on the Class 4A state wrestling tournament, visit gillettenewsrecord.com or check Tuesday's print edition.