Feb 24, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorCASPER -- Lander Valley High School senior Jacob Miller climbed to the top of the Class 3-A state wrestling ladder Saturday night, winning the state championship at 145 pounds in Casper.
Miller was on a mission not to lose a match in his final state tournament. Miller lost in the semifinals last year to settle for a fourth-place finish.
"The loss last year really burned in me," Miller said. "It really made me drive a lot harder in every practice. I just didn't want to give up and give anyone a chance of beating me. It was just a deep-down burn for me to win it this year. The experience of being at the state tournament before helped out a lot this year. "
Miller made sure his opponent on Saturday night didn't have an opportunity at all in winning the title.
He pounded Jacob Davis of Powell 13-5 for the champion-ship.
The LVHS senior jumped out to an 8-1 lead after the first period and never looked back.
"I just knew that I couldn't give him anything the whole match," Miller said. "If I did that then at any moment he would take advantage it."
Miller beat Davis five times this year on the wrestling mats.
"It's pretty tough to beat a guy that many times," Miller said. "They kind of learn how you wrestle. It just makes it a lot more difficult."
Ty Alexander (120 pounds) and Jason Hanson (182) finished in the runner-up positions for Lander.
Alexander was pinned by Jackson Taylor from Glenrock in the final stages of the third period. Hanson was pinned by Drake Menck from Mountain View in the third period.
Friday night turned out to be one busy evening for the Tigers.
LVHS sent a number wrestlers onto the mats with three of them tasting victory in the semifinals.
Alexander got the Tigers on the winning side at 120 pounds with a thrilling 7-5 victory over Colbee Craig of Powell.
Miller put himself into the finals by collecting a 4-3 victory against Austin Hoopes from Star Valley.
Hanson ended the night at 182 pounds with a 9-4 win vs. Evan Ponce from Torrington.
At 106 pounds, Kyle Carey dropped a 12-0 decision against Kyle Burton from Buffalo.
In the 113-pound division, LVHS teammates Josiah Malesic and Ben McKinney both lost close battles. Powell's Nic Urbach beat Malesic 17-0. Jordan Pingrey of Douglas knocked off McKinney 11-2.
Malesic was third for the Tigers, and McKinney came in fourth. Carey placed fourth in his weight bracket. Ross Sloss took home a fourth at 220 pounds.
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