by nathan oster

Felipe Gaytan, Nathaniel Boreen and Tate Clutter made it to the finals before all three suffered the same fate and had to settle for second place in their respective weight classes at Saturday’s Greybull Memorial Invitational.

Caleb Bottom also placed for G-R, which finished seventh out of 12 teams with 82 points. Thermopolis, a 2A team, won the tournament, nipping Lovell by 5.5 points.  The Bobcats scored 174.5 points, the Bulldogs 169.

The tournament came on the heels of duals with Worland on Thursday night and against Moorcroft and Wind River on Friday night at Buff Gym.

The Buffs got an assist from Rocky Mountain in the Worland dual, as the two 2A teams combined to take on the 3A Warriors.  Sanford said Worland still managed to win the dual, but it was close, with just “six or eight points” separating them.  Winning matches for G-R were Gaytan, Jackson Long, Dade Greene, Tate Clutter and Oscar Martinez.

Moorcroft, which has dominated 2A in recent years, routed the Buffs 63-0.

“We got shut out … and that hasn’t happened to us very often,” said Coach Mark Sanford.

Gaytan and Greene were credited with wrestling good matches in losing efforts.

Sanford said “a chat about effort” followed and that his team responded to it with a 48-12 thrashing of Wind River in the nightcap.  The only points for Wind River came on forfeits.  Wyatt Bolken, Martinez, Gaytan, Ivan Rodriguez, Bottom, Carlos Garay, Shawn Erhart and Clutter were credited with wins.

Greene’s 6-4 win was the perhaps the most significant, as he beat a regional foe who had defeated him earlier in the season.

“It was a nice win for us and a much better effort,” said Sanford.

G-R rolled into Saturday with nine kids in varsity, two in JV — and unfortunately for several of them who didn’t earn seeds, the draw wasn’t kind.  “We didn’t draw well, which hurts in a small tournament,” he said.

Going by weight, Wyatt Bolken went 0-2 at 113 pounds, getting “out-physicalled” by both of his opponents.

Boreen went 2-1 at 120 pounds.  The freshman had a first-round bye and pinned each of his next two foes to advance to the final, opposite Alex Nicholson of Lovell.  Boreen had just beaten Nicholson at the Ron Thon, “but in that match, we didn’t let him get a lead and we put him on his back,” said Sanford. The rematch was a different story, with Nicholson winning 6-3, his fourth win in five starts against Boreen.

Martinez went 1-1 at 126, but one of his losses was to the No. 1 seed, Quinton Hecker of Lovell, and the other was to the eventual fourth-place finisher, Trevor Fellers of Powell, by a 4-2 decision. Sanford said he was pleased with Martinez’s effort, adding that he continues to progress.

Felipe Gaytan made his debut at 132 and out-performed his No. 6 seed, going 2-1 and finishing second.  Gaytan beat wrestlers from Cody and Lovell to make the final, where he lost to Trent Lytle of Rocky Mountain, 8-5.  Sanford called the triumph over Lovell’s Asher Nicholson “a big win” and said Gaytan “wrestled a good match” against Lytle. “There are just some things that we need to do better against that kid.”

Carlos Garay and Caleb Bottom both found themselves in the 145-pound division.  Garay went 1-2 and didn’t place, but Bottom did, going 2-2 and take fourth.  Both losses were to Tyler Grentz of Cody. In between, he posted two straight wins, pinning wrestlers from Shoshoni and Wyoming Indian. Sanford called the fourth-place finish “a positive step for Caleb, especially after being out so long with an injury.  He’s moving in the right direction.”

Erhart was one of the G-R wrestlers who didn’t draw well, as he had to face Luke Goncalves of Worland in the first round.  Goncalves had beaten him two nights earlier in Worland ‑ and the rematch was every bit as one-sided.  Goncalves went on to win the tournament, “but Shawn went after him hard and lasted longer than anyone else did against him.”  A loss to Jarek Sorensen of Thermopolis followed.

Clutter didn’t have a match until the semis, when he pinned Dallas Oliver of Lovell in the second period.  In the final, Clutter was pinned by Chance Watt of Thermopolis. “We beat that kid earlier,” said Sanford. “We just didn’t wrestle well and did some silly things.”

Of all the G-R wrestlers, Greene might have had the toughest path.  He faced Thermop’s Logan Cole in his opener and lost by tech fall.  Cole went on to win the tournament.  In the wrestlebacks, Coy Trainer of Lovell was waiting for him. A reigning state champ, Trainer was coming off an injury and making his season debut. Greene was in the match, but in the course of attempting a takedown, hyper-extended his elbow and couldn’t continue.   While it’s an injury that can linger, Sanford said he hopes to have Greene back by the end of the season.

“It’s a shame, too, because Dade has been coming on and doing a lot of good things,” said Sanford.

Jackson Long and Ivan Rodriguez wrestled JV matches, with Long going 1-2 and Rodriguez going 0-3.

G-R will close out the regular season today (Thursday, Feb. 7) with a dual in Basin against 3A Cody. Start time is 6 p.m.