Feb 17, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorHeavyweight senior Kegan Wells was right in the middle of the celebration with his teammates after the Lander Tigers claimed a 38-36 wrestling victory Thursday night against the Riverton Wolverines at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse.
Wells set the pace of the evening between the two Fremont County rivals, making quick work of Riverton's David Romero for the first win for the Tigers.
Lander hadn't defeated the Wolverines since Wells was a freshman.
"It's always close with Riverton," Wells said. "We knew giving up a couple of weights it was going to be tight. We spread our lineup as best as we could and wrestled for the team."
Before the match, Lander coach Nick Fulton fired up his team.
"We talked a lot about team effort," Fulton said.
The Tiers moved Andrew Von Rein up to 145 pounds and Dillon Weil to 138.
Von Rein won a 13-3 decision against Riverton's T.J. Turner.
"T.J. is a very tough kid," Fulton said.
Weil blanked Max Batista 9-0.
Noah Rohrbacher (160 pounds) and Seth Cole (152) lost but were in different weights from normal.
"We moved Noah up roughly 19 pounds," Fulton said. "Noah is coming back off injury. He has had one match in the last three weeks.
Koa Rodriguez escaped with a 4-2 decision vs. Rohrbacher.
"I can't say enough good about Noah on how he did," Fulton said. "Noah gave himself an opportunity to win that match, and to be honest, to win that dual."
Wells was honored on Senior Night. He is Lander's only senior.
"It's pretty rare to see that," Wells said. "It doesn't bother me. My teammates respect me and they listen to me. It really doesn't change a whole lot. You just do your part as a team member."
Wells was not at all surprised that his younger teammates handled the pressure of the battle vs. the Wolverines.
"We worked really hard in practice this week," Wells said. "We got our confidence up to make sure that we are ready to go."
Lander participates this Friday and Saturday in the Class 3-A West regional tournament at Star Valley High School.
The vocal crowd for Lander was at a high pitch early in the dual when the Tigers notched three straight pins.
Mark McConnell pinned Riverton's Joey Ladd in the third period.
Kyle Carey pinned Wayne Steeds in the first period at 120 pounds.
Ben McKinney put up another six points for the home squad at a fall in the 126-pound division.
Lander 38, Riverton 36
195 pounds -- Chris Holcomb, Riverton, won by forfeit.
220 -- Wyatt Wichelaus, Riverton, pinned Garrett Coffman, first period.
Heavyweight -- Kegan Wells, Lander, pinned David Romero in first period.
106 -- Palmer Schafer, Lander, won by forfeit.
113 -- Mark McConnell, Lander, pinned Joey Ladd in third period.
120 -- Kyle Carey, Lander, pinned Wayne Steeds in first period.
126 -- Ben McKinney, Lander, pinned Michael Menzies in first period.
132 -- Alec Fabrizius, dec. Jacob Winchester, 4-2.
138 -- Dillon Weil, Lander,
major dec. Max Batista, 9-0.
145 -- Andrew Von Rein, Lander, major dec. T.J. Turner, 13-3.
152 -- Tyler Allen, Riverton, pinned Seth Cole in second period.
160 -- Koa Rodriguez, Riverton, dec. Noah Rohrbacher, 4-2.
170 -- Reece Prosser, Riverton, Talen Connell in second period.
182 -- Bridger Amman, Riverton, won by forfeit.
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