Cowboys show depth with high places at Reno, Culver
The Crook County High School wrestling team has made it a point to get the most difficult matches they can get.
This weekend was more of the same as the Crook County Varsity and a small contingent of Cowboy JV wrestlers competed in the Reno Tournament of Champions while the remainder of the JV team competed in the varsity Culver Invitational.
The Cowboys finished in a tie for 10th place at 107-team Reno event, which is billed as the toughest tournament in the country, while the Cowboy B team of just five wrestlers finished in 61st at Reno and the remainder of the JV squad had a strong second-place showing in Culver.
"I just found out our team score and I'm pretty happy about that," Crook County head coach Jake Gonzales said about the Reno Tournament of Champions. "The guys all wrestled really well. It's a tough tournament but overall it went really well. They are getting better."
Two Cowboys placed in Reno, with Kyle Knudtson finishing in third place at 182 pounds and Hunter Mode taking fourth at 138 pounds.
Knudtson finished with a 6-1 record while Mode was 5-2. Other Cowboy varsity team members to win matches in Reno were Tucker Bonner, 3-2 at 113 pounds, Steven Ware, 2-2 at 120 pounds, Zach Mauras, 4-3 at 126 pounds, Trevor Martin, 2-2 at 132 pounds, Alex Vail, 1-2 at 145 pounds, Brayden Duke, 3-2 at 152 pounds, Gavin McLean, 3-2 at 160 pounds and Haydyn Hilderbrand, 1-2 at 220 pounds.
Three Cowboy JV wrestlers also won matches in Reno, with Cash Wells, 113, going 2-2, Tannon Joyner, 120, going 2-2, and Ben Sather, 152, going 5-2.
Poway, California, won the tournament with 243.5 points, with Allen, Texas, second, 239, Crescent Valley third, 221, Pomona, California, fourth, 191.5, and Clovis North, California, fifth with 172.5 points.
Rounding out the top 10 were Gilroy, California, 169, Bakersfield, California, 157.5, St. John Bosco, California, 156, Roseburg, 133, Crook County, 108, and Temecula Valley, California, 108.
The five Cowboy JV wrestlers picked up 27 points, one point out of 60th place.
Meanwhile, at Culver, the Cowboys were within one-point midway through the semifinals before Culver pulled away late to take first with 244.5 points.
The Cowboys were second with 179 points. They were followed by La Pine, 166, Pine Eagle, 124.5, Joseph/Wallowa, 110.5, Madras, 102, Mazama, 99, Grant Union, 93, Gold Beach, 86, Bonanza, 70, Ridgeview, 67.5, Sisters, 57, Glide, 53, North Lake, 44, Lowell, 37 and Corbett, 12.
All high schools participating sent their varsity team with the exception of Crook County.
Ray Solis was the lone Cowboy champion at the meet, defeating Culver's Hunter Augustynovich 4-1 to win the 160-pound championship.
Placing second for the Cowboys were Ross McKinney, 113, Wyatt Wood, 132, Victor Rodriguez, 152 and Aaron Bowen, 195.
Other Cowboys to place included Kyree Willis, fifth at 126, Gage Perry, fourth at 145, Collier Buffington, sixth at 145, Gage Hanson, third at 152, and Jacob VanLeuven, sixth at 195.
Also winning matches in Culver, but failing to place were Cameron Whitney, 2-2 at 132 pounds, Garrett Cobb, 2-2, also at 132 pounds, Mason Clark, 3-2 at 138 pounds, Kody Knudtson, 1-2 at 145 pounds, Wyatt Holliday, 2-2 at 220 pounds and Joseph Miller, 2-2 at 285 pounds.
"The JVs finished second in Culver and that's a pretty good tournament," Gonzales said. "We had one champ and a bunch of placers, so again, we are getting everyone wrestling and they are getting better."
The Cowboys are back in action this weekend when they travel to Couer d'Alene, Idaho for the Tri-State Wrestling Tournament, which will be held at North Idaho College.
"We still have got a lot to do," Gonzales said. "But I think we are getting better every day and we are getting better with each competition."
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