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Wrestlers compete at national events

Following up on very successful regular and post-seasons, several Thermopolis youth wrestlers traveled recently to compete in some prestigious national events. Successful results from those events reflect well for next year's high school and middle school teams.

Last week, junior, Brody Sorensen, and freshman, Lilly Quintanilla, were in Virginia Beach, Virginia to compete in the National High School Coaches Association National Tournament. The competition is generally considered to be the toughest, collegiate style, tournament of the year.

Brody Sorensen wrestled in the Junior Class Division and pulled a number ten seed  for the tournament, based upon his state championship from February.

HSCHS wrestling coach, Travis McDermott said, "Brody got out to a great start, winning his first two matches on day one against New Jersey and Ohio opponents. He lost his third match to Davis of Tennessee by a 9 to 1 score. He started the second day with a win over Sims of Ohio in a tight 3 to 2 win. That put him two matches from placing, but he was unable to get past Pento of New Hampshire. Brody had a great weekend, and looked very confident, through all of his matches. I think the experience will give him added confidence to push hard next season."

Lilly Quintanilla was looking to extend her incredible undefeated season, however, she was met with a very difficult draw to start the tournament.

McDermott said, "Lilly's first match was against the eventual runner-up, Pineda of California. Lilly wrestled well, and gave Pineda the toughest match she faced before the championship. After giving up the first takedown, Lilly came back and got a takedown of her own to tie up the match in the first period. In the second period, Lilly almost had Pineda on her back with an arm bar, but eventually Lilly ended up losing 8 to 5. She had to wait for day two to wrestle again. That day began with Lilly on fire - pinning her first two opponents. She then ran into the eventual third place wrestler from Virginia. Lilly couldn't get past the length of the Virginia competitor, but she never quit battling. Lilly just had a tough draw that put her up against the best early in the tournament."

Lilly will have a quick turnaround, as she is headed to Spokane, Washington this week for the Women's US Open, where she will compete in freestyle for a chance to be on a world team. She follows that up with then Women's Showcase, in Las Vegas at the end of the month.

Youth wrestling coach, Babie Robinson, took four Thermopolis girls to Iowa to compete in the Twin Rivers National Duals.

Sisters Hailey and Hayden Robinson competed on the Wyoming Gold Middle School team. Both had a great tournament, with Hailey going undefeated 8 and 0 on the weekend and receiving All-American Gold Status. Hayden went 7 and 1 for the tournament and received All-American Silver Status. Their team finished third in the pool, and ended up fifth in the bronze bracket.

Robinson said she is grateful to the community of fellow Thermopolis wrestling coaches, that have shared their knowledge, dedication and support. "It feels great to being able to showcase how much talent our small town has at a national level."

Sophomore, Alix Sorensen, and senior, Kailtin Barral, also traveled to Iowa and competed for different dual teams at that event.

Alix battled illness, going 2 for 5 on the weekend. Kaitlin had just two matches in before injuring her knee. McDermott said, "Alix will be a top wrestler next year as a junior, and will be fighting for a state championship. Kaitlin may not have wrestled her last match, as she has had colleges contact her about continuing her career at the collegiate level."

Two weeks ago, middle school state champion, Ryker Sayler, went 4 and 4 at the Heartland Duals in Iowa, competing with the Wyoming Renegades Team. The Renegades took fourth place in their pool, and finished in fourth place in the Gold Bracket for the tournament.


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