Wrestlers from 100 Idaho high schools gathered at Pocatello's Holt Arena Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27-28 for the 52nd annual Idaho State Wrestling Championships on the Idaho State University campus.
Six wrestlers from Hailey's Wood River High School compiled a 5-12 record over the two days led by sophomore 152-pounder Andrew Orr (21-16). He captured 9-4 and 3-0 decisions and dropped two matches for a 2-2 record in a tough class.
Orr battled well but lost in his second match of the meet, a 15-0 technical fall to eventual 152-pound senior champion Abner Cook of Pocatello (43-0). Orr exited with an 8-6 overtime loss to fourth-place Leonard Fister of Sandpoint (25-11).
Seeded third at 160 pounds, Hailey senior Alex Jones (18-11) won his first match, an 11-8 decision, then dropped a narrow 7-6 decision to eventual second-place junior Andrew Lords of Rigby (20-6). Jones was ousted 13-3 by fifth-place junior Riley Argyle of Jerome (27-8).
Also going 1-2 at state were sophomore 103-pounder Tyler Bartlett (14-17) and fifth-seeded junior Tanner Orchard (23-13) at 145 pounds. Orchard's win was a 4-2 decision over Erick McCall of Moscow (20-13) in the consolation round.
Going 0-2 for Wood River at state were junior 130-pounder Nick Chase (18-18) and senior 189-pounder JJ Thomson (9-17).
Coach Tyson Young said, "We came up a little short this past weekend at state and hopefully learned something. There were plenty of matches we were in and lost in the latter minutes, even seconds. In wrestling, nothing is a sure thing! The moment you take a break or lack the mental toughness in a match, you will lose."
"I know we were better than our performances showed. We need to hit the mats and the weight room over the summer and prepare for next year. The guys worked too hard to hang their heads and quit for the years to come. Still, we made some great strides. I'm very proud of each and every wrestler and am looking forward to next year's battles."
Columbia High School of Nampa won its first State 4A team title 214-207.5 over two-time defending champion Blackfoot. Malad also earned its first-ever State 2A championship, 199.5 to 195 over Parma.
American Falls (195.5) captured its second straight State 3A championship and third in four years by 36 points over Fruitland. Idaho Falls (167.5) secured its fourth State 5A title over Highland (157).