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Wolverines send three to state wrestling finals

Feb 26, 2012 - Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

CASPER -- Riverton High School sent a trio of wrestlers into the finals and came away with three second-place finishes Saturday at the Class 4-A state tournament in Casper.

Ahren Wempen (126 pounds), Rudy Batista (152) and TJ Galey (170) all came within striking distance of a state title, but each fell a little short at the packed Casper Events Center. The Wolverines haven't won an individual title in the past five seasons.

"That is a huge step in the right direction," said RHS coach Jay Galey about having three wrestlers in the finals. "We have one more hurdle to clear, and I'm confident that we can clear it."

Wempen, Batista and Galey are all juniors. The Wolverines return almost their entire varsity roster next season.

"They had a great tournament," coach Galey said. "We would have liked to get a win out of them somewhere down the line in the finals, but we didn't. The thing about those guys is they will remember it. They will work even harder than they have. They won't back down.

In the team standings, the Wolverines finished fifth at 146 points. Gillette captured its 10th straight title rolling up 238.50 points. Cheyenne East finished second at 192.50 points, Sheridan placed third (188 points) and Natrona finished fourth (180.50 points.)

Evanston (108), Cheyenne Central (103.50), Green River (100), Rock Springs (88), Kelly Walsh (83.50), Laramie High School (37.50) and Cheyenne South (30) were the rest of the 4-A schools in Casper.

Wempen moved into the finals beating Kris Miller from Gillette 7-2. In the finals, Tanner Galey from Kelly Walsh won a tight 4-2 victory over Wempen.

"I really thought that once Ahren opened up, and he got more on the attack he was pretty good," coach Galey said.

Wempen had beaten Galey last week at the Class 4-A West regional tournament in Evanston. Batista clinched a spot in the finals after edging teammate Trevor Allen 5-2 on Friday night in the semifinals.

In the finals, Brayton Sanders from Evanston won a 5-2 decision vs. Batista.

"I really liked what Rudy did early on," Galey said. "I thought that he was the guy that was pushing the pace of the match. We gave up a chip takedown. When we were down 5-0, they really didn't have to wrestle from that point on."

Allen finished fourth in 152-pound weight class.

At 170 pounds, Galey pulled out a 3-1 victory vs. Gillette's Taylor Bigelow. With a title on the line, Sheridan's Lucas Giesey controlled Galey 7-1.

"The Sheridan wrestler is a tough kid," coach Galey said. ""We will go back home and give them this week off and then go back to work."

Dubois wrestlers

The DHS tandem of Sterling Baker and Cody Flynn took home second-place finishes in the championship finals.

In the 182-pound weight class, Dino Collins claimed a in over Baker in a time of 1:24. Cody Flynn lost a 4-3 heartbreaker in the final few seconds to Lovell's Brigham Hopkin in the finals at 195 pounds.

Shoshoni's Chester Broadbent placed fourth (113 pounds) and his teammate Dalton Linnan came in sixth (heavyweight).

Wind River's Marty Thoman ended fifth at 138 pounds and Jesse Hawk from Dubois placed fifth in the 170-pound weight class.

RHS placers from

state wrestling tournament

113 pounds -- 5. Gavin Wilson.

126 pounds -- 2. Arhen Wempen.

145 pounds -- 3. Beau Batista.

152 pounds -- 2.Rudy Batista.

170 pounds -- 2. TJ Galey.

182 pounds -- 5. Dylan Lewis.

195 pounds -- 4. Jacob Flescher.

County placers from 2-A

Other county finishers

113 pounds -- 4. Chester Broadbent, Shoshoni.

138 pounds -- 5. Marty Thoman, Wind River.

170 pounds -- 5. Jesse Hawk, Dubois.

Heavyweight -- 6. Dalton Linnan, Shoshoni.

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