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Batista, Wempen lead RHS on mat; Galey third
Riverton's Rudy Batista, right, finished first in the 160-pound weight class Saturday at the Lander Invitational. Photo by Bruce Tippets

Batista, Wempen lead RHS on mat; Galey third

Dec 23, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Rudy Batista pinned all his opponents on his way to the 160-pound title for Riverton High School at the Lander Invitational tournament.

RHS teammate Arhen Wempen escaped in the last second to claim the 132-pound championship Saturday at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse.

Batista finished off his tournament with a pin in a time of 5:37 over Star Valley's Kris Beech.

Batista was a top seed for the double-elimination bracket.

"I just went there with the attitude that I wanted to control the match and control the pace," Batista said. "I was doing it pretty good. It got close there at the end."

Batista was up 2-1 after the first period of the final. He scored two more points on a near fall in the third period. Beech put in a two-point reversal in the period to pull to within one point.

"I got him in a headlock and was able to get him from there," Batista said.

Batista put in another reversal before his pin. Batista also beat Beech at the season-opening Evanston Invitational.

In the semifinals, Batista pinned Jackson's Ben Flickinger in a time of 1:10.

"I wanted to go out and wrestle and be aggressive," Batista said.

Wempen edged Carlos Salazar of Casper Kelly Walsh 3-1 in the 132-pound weight class.

"It was very close match," Wempen said. "He is a very tough kid."

Wempen said he knew time was running out before he scored the two-point reversal at the buzzer.

"It was very excited and a close call," Wempen said. "It could have gone either way. I was able to pull out the points. I saw the time coming pretty quick."

Wempen was called for stalling in the third period to tie it up at 1-1.

"I felt that we were both going at the same pace," Wempen said.

Salazar and Wempen had never collided with each other on the mats before Saturday.

"We have a lot of the same styles," Wempen said. "It's just good competition. I will have to be at the top of my game every time that we face each other."

Wempen won his semifinal when his opponent forfeited on an injury default.

"The Powell kid hurt his leg, so I didn't wrestle in the semifinals," Wempen said. "It really didn't make a big difference."

Riverton's T.J. Galey was third in the 170-pound weight class. Galey lost a 1-0 decision to Dalton Burgener from Douglas in the semifinals.

Burgener won a 14-10 decision over Torrington's Andrew Jarvis in the finals.

Galey's teammate Jacob Flesher was third at 220 pounds.

Joey Roseno (126 pounds), Tyler Allen (145), Kyle Page (182) and Dawson Steeds (heavyweight) were all fifth for RHS.

Danny Huxtable (126), Connor Wilkinson (113) and Patrick Forrester (220) placed in sixth for Shoshoni High School in the double-elimination tournament.

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