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Reed wrestlers impress at state
by Tribune Staff
Feb 18, 2012 | 1191 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rail City schools sent a number of wrestlers to Las Vegas this weekend to take part in the State Championships and a pair of Raiders will be returning as champions of their respective weight classes.

Reed Wrestlers Broc Westlake (195) and Spencer Empey (220) both defended their state crowns from last year, repeating as champs a year later.

Westlake used a second-round pin to make it to the championship bout, where he took a 7-4 decision in order to retain his title as a senior.

Empey, the other state winner for Reed last season, earned pins in all three of his matches at state. A third-round pin, with 52 seconds left in the final round, sealed the state championship for Empey, concluding his junior year with a perfect 45-0 record.

  On the other Rail City mats, Spanish Springs had one wrestler reach a championship match. Unfortunately for Cougar fans, 138-pounder Blake Nauman was unable to pull out the victory, falling in a 6-3 decision.

“Blake had a great match,” Spanish Springs coach Joe Imelli said. “It was 4-3 up until the last little bit and he had to take a shot. The kid ended up getting a take down from it. It was a real exciting match.”

Green Valley took the team state title with 153.5 points, while Reed finished sixth and Spanish Springs seventh with 55 and 49 points, respectively.

“It’s state so it’s tough,” Imelli said. “There’s no easy route once you get here. Each of the guys that got here all earned their way here so it’s tough. I was proud of our kids. We wrestled tough. I didn’t see any kind of let up. They all pushed through. There just happened to be other kids who had better weekends than us. I was really pleased overall. We had four kids one win away from a placing match so it was good.”

Despite the tough showing at state, Imelli said he was still proud of his North runner-up team.

  “It looked a little rough in the beginning of the year. We really grew as a team. We won another league title. We missed out on a regional title, but we had it three out of four years,” he said. “This year we missed it by 3.5 points. Our kids rallied around each other all year. I was real proud of their growth not just individually, but as a team. They really respond to feeding off each other and taking care of each other. I’m proud of our boys and the heart they showed to be a group this year.”

In the 3A ranks, Sparks was also represented by a single wrestler on the final day of state. SHS 145-pounder Mario Gaudron lost by a 20-5 technical fall.

  The junior battled his way through a tough bracket before finally falling in the championship match.

  “It didn’t go quite as well as we would have liked,” Sparks coach Ric Fehr said. “He had a tough match against Gus Duncan from Lowry, who is now a 3-time state champion. This doesn’t take away anything though. I think Mario came out with a goal. He came out to wrestle. It was just an issue of the experience and the momentum and the atmosphere. Lowry won the tournament and most of their guys were in the finals, so there was a lot of momentum behind that.

“Mario came out with the highest placing of any Sparks wrestler this year. We didn’t have anyone else place. He just works hard. He’s intense and focused, but he just didn’t have what it took in the tank to overcome the experience that Gus Duncan has.”

Lowry won the 3A state team title with 264 points. Sparks placed 11th with 17 points.

  “It was awesome to get these guys here to the state tournament,” Fehr said. “I’m glad for them to see it. We’re looking to try and build on this. These kids did well this season. We started to peak at the right time and we did go, it’s just tough with wrestling because you never know who is up and who is down.”
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