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Wempen a runner-up for RHS on Thon mat
Riverton High School senior Arhen Wempen, top, finished second at 132 pounds in the 40-team Ron Thon Invitational at Wolverine Gym. Photo by Bruce Tippets

Wempen a runner-up for RHS on Thon mat

Feb 3, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Three other Wolverines make medal stand.

Arhen Wempen wrestled a determined Ron Thon Invitational for Riverton High School to finish second in the 132-pound class at Wolverine Gym.

Wempen saw his bid for a title come to an end when Bryce Meredith from Cheyenne Central won a 17-2 decision in the finals before a packed crowd.

Meredith is a two-time Class 4-A champion. Wempen finished second last year at the state tournament.

Wempen hurt his knee last week in a match against Cody but seemed to be back at full strength for the Ron Thon.

Wempen was the only RHS wrestler to reach the finals in the 40-team tournament, biggest in Wyoming.

The field featured the top wrestlers in the state from 4-A, 3-A and 2-A.

"I would have liked to be in there with my friends," Wempen said. "It's an honor to be in the finals."

Riverton's Gavin Wilson finished fourth at 120 pounds. T.J. Galey added a third for the Wolverines in the 170-pound class. Casey Savage was sixth at 195 pounds. Savage lost his first match of the tournament but battled back for a medal.

The Wolverines finished eighth in the team standings at 96.5 points.

Gillette cruised to the team title scoring 264.5 points. Cheyenne East was second at 195 points. Powell was third (161.5 points).

RHS will battle Lander Valley High School at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Tonkin Activities Center to close out the regular season.

Wempen's path

With a championship berth on the line, Wempen escaped with a 4-2 victory in overtime against Gillette's Kris Miller in the semifinals on Saturday morning.

Miller scored a takedown right at the start vs. Wempen.

"He rolled me for most of the first period," Wempen said.

Wempen faced Miller in the state semifinals last year in Casper and won 7-2.

"I knew he had gotten a lot better," Wempen said. "I was ready for his leg game. He is really good at riding legs."

Wempen scored two points on a near fall Saturday to deadlock the score at 2-2.

"I knew that he wasn't getting pinned," Wempen said "I was just planning on getting points."

In the overtime period, Wempen used about 10 seconds before he scored the takedown for the victory and the spot in the finals.

"I know that I'm a lot better on my feet than him," Wempen said. "The game plan was to stay away from his headlock and get the legs."

Wempen was satisfied to get into the finals of the state's biggest tournament.

"I was very relieved to get the win," Wempen said. "It was a tough match. I was pretty pumped."

Wempen opened the two-day tournament with a 5-2 victory over Andrew Snow from Cheyenne South. Wempen pinned Laramie's Bridger Rardin in a time of 50 seconds in the second round.

In the quarterfinals, Wempen outlasted Evanston's Bruce Lester 9-3.

See complete tournament results in "Scoreboard," page C-3.

Team standings from Ron Thon Invitational

1. Gillette, 264.5; 2. Cheyenne East, 195; 3. Powell, 161.5; 4. Star Valley, 121.5; 5. Douglas, 112.5; 6. Casper Natrona, 112; 7. Worland, 103; 8. Cheyenne Central, 100.5; 9. Riverton, 96.5; 10. Moorcroft, 92; 11. (tie) Cokeville and Lovell, 87; 13. Green River, 85; 14. Evanston, 81.5; 15. Lander, 76; 16. Kelly Walsh, 64; 17. Sheridan, 47; 18. Torrington, 46; 19. Cheyenne South, 41.5; 20. Thermopolis, 39.5; 21. Rock Springs, 39; 22. Lyman, 36; 23. Dubois, 30; 24. Cody, 26; 24. Greybull, 26; 26. Mountain View, 24; 26. Wheatland, 24; 28, Newcastle, 19; 29. Glenrock, 18; 30. Jackson, 16; 30. Laramie, 16; 32. Rawlins, 14; 33. Rocky Mountain, 12; 34. Buffalo, 8.5.

Riverton results

120 pounds -- Gavin Wilson, Riverton, major dec. Corbin Adams, Cody, 10-0; Wilson pinned Kyle Stasheim, Worland, 2:48; Wilson pinned Gage Tyree, Sheridan, 2:30; Brody Cress, Cheyenne East, major dec. Wilson, 16-2; Wilson dec. Ty Alexander, 7-3; Ryan Bradshaw, Thermopolis, dec. Wilson, 4-3. Wilson placed fourth.

132 pounds -- Arhen Wempen, Riverton, dec. Andrew Snow, Cheyenne South, 5-2; Wempen pinned Bridger Rardin, Laramie, :50 seconds; Wempen dec Bruce Lester, Evanston, 9-3; Wempen dec. Kris Miller, Gillette, 4-2 OT; Bryce Meredith, Cheyenne Central, tech fall. Wempen, 17-2. Wempen placed second.

145 pounds -- Jacob Davis, Powell, pinned Tyler Allen, Riverton, 5:07; Allen dec. Dustin Rollins, Lyman, 13-7; Blake Sanderson, Douglas, dec Allen, 7-3.

152 pounds -- Beau Batista, Riverton, pinned Talon Cook, Lyman,, 2:37; John Beaudrie, Cody, dec. Batista , 4-3; Batista dec. Cameron Braden, Moorcroft, 2-0; Jacob Hatley, Torrington, dec. Batista, 4-3; Batista dec. Cameron Braden, Moorcroft, 2-0; Jacob Hatley, Torrington, dec. Batista, 4-3. Ivan Varela, Rawlins, pinned Batista, 4:30.

160 pounds -- Rudy Batista, Riverton, pinned Teigen Finnerty, Wheatland, 1:14; Batista tech fall. Benjamin Loya, Torrington, 15-0; Luke Zeller, Greybull, won in overtime over Batista,, 6-4.

170 pounds -- T.J. Galey,, Riverton, pinned Billy Galloway, Star Valley, 2:34; Galey dec. Tyler Patterson, Powell, 3-0; Jacob Beck, Lovell, dec. Galey 4-2; Galey dec. William Kishpaugh, Evanston, 9-2; Galey dec. Haydn Rawlings, Gillette, 4-2. Galey placed third.

195 pounds -- Jace Loyd,, Wheatland, pinned Casey Savage, Riverton, 5:39; Savage pinned Christos Zympas, Cheyenne Central, 1:15; Savage dec. Robert Sloss, 8-5; Savage dec. Spencer Redland, Greybull, 3-1; Savage dec. James Sedey, Rock Springs, 3-2; Sterling Baker, Dubois, pinned Savage, 1:15. Savage placed sixth.

220 pounds -- Brett Schaeffer, Cheyenne East, pinned Riley Reichert, Riverton, 2:39; Isaac taylor, Cheyenne east, pinned Reichert, 1:42.

Heavyweight -- Dawson Steeds, Riverton, pinned Carlos Heredia, Evanston, 2:44; Erik Denney, Powell, dec. Steeds, 9-3; Steeds dec. Kaleb Clark, Kelly Walsh, 4-3; Steeds pinned Rowdy Gard, Powell, 2:53; Tanner Allison, Moorcroft, pinned Steeds, 26 seconds.

Heavyweight -- C.J. Allen, Douglas, pinned Ransom Slack, Riverton, 3:00; Rowdy Gard, Powell, pinned Slack, 2:41.

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