Feb 6, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets Sports EditorBrodie Schneider started off the Ron Thon Memorial for Lander Valley High School as the No. 6 seed in the 220-pound weight class, but the Tiger senior didn't worry about not having a higher seeding.
Schneider battled past a string of opponents over two days to claim the title in the 42-team invitational. There were 17 varsity wrestlers in his weight class.
The tournament had the best wrestlers the state has to offer in a combined Class 4-A, 3-A and 2-A field.
"It's amazing to win the tournament," said Schneider, who placed third as a freshman.
Schneider advanced to the title match against Lovell's Mark Grant.
"The Lovell wrestler is a strong kid," Schneider said. "He did a lot of stuff that my previous opponent did. It seemed like I was wrestling the same guy over again."
The two gladiators were knotted at 5-5 early in match.
"I was pretty surprised it was so high scoring," Schneider said. "I had to push the pace. I had to get him knowing my game."
Schneider stuck with his plan and scored five more points in the last two periods for the victory.
Road to the title
"Brodie had a heck of a Ron Thon tournament," LVHS coach Nick Fulton said. "He pretty much controlled the way through his bracket."Schneider opened the double-elimination tournament on Friday night beating Jake Thomas from Casper Natrona 7-2. In the quarterfinals, Schneider downed Reece Brown of Evanston 6-2 for a spot in the semifinals.
"I slept very little on Friday night," Schneider said. "I went to bed for about an hour and half at the most."
The semifinals Saturday started at 9 a.m. With a spot for the championship match on the line, Schneider faced off with Natrona's Greg Lensert.
Schneider and Lensert had never wrestled each other before Saturday's showdown.
The match was tight before Schneider pinned the Casper wrestler in a time of 4:37.
"I was surprised that I pinned him," Schneider said. "I thought it would take longer than that. I figured it would come down to a decision.
"You have to feel pretty good about getting four placers," Fulton said. "We are always stressing to win that last match. That is the idea of coming through at the end."
After Schneider, Lander's Jacob Miller placed third in the 152-pound weight class.
Randy Andrews of Powell won Miller's bracket, and Reed Burgner of Douglas was second. Andrew Von Rein was also third for LVHS in the 106-pound weight class. Charles Wittick of Powell finished second after beating Von Rein in the semifinals.
Wittick is a senior for the Panthers, while Von Rein is a freshman. Cheyenne East's Brody Cress won the 106-pound title.
Ty Alexander finished sixth in the 113-pound class for Lander.
The Tigers came into the Ron Thon after a tough week of practice.
LVHS wrestlers Jordan and Jason Hanson and Dalton Crane missed the tournament because of different injuries suffered recently in practice.
Jordan Hanson has signed a national letter of intent to wrestle in the fall at University of Wyoming and was a favorite to win the Ron Thon heavyweight title for the second year in a row.
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