Listen to this post
RANGELY I The Rangely High School wrestling team has been traveling the state and eastern Utah for unfamiliar competition this season, and that trend will continue this weekend.
The Panthers traveled to the southwest corner of the state last weekend and will travel near to the southeast corner this weekend before the regional and state tournaments, where the Panthers’ journey will end.
Rangely traveled to Ignacio on Friday for a dual, then wrestled in the Butch Melton Invitational on Saturday, when all six Panthers placed in the tournament, which featured teams from Colorado and New Mexico.
The Panthers split matches wrestled against the Ignacio Bobcats but lost the dual 39-24. Heath Peters (132) and Lucas Heinle (145) pinned their Bobcat opponents but Kiki Ruiz (138) and Caleb Lawson (152) lost. Ethan Allred (160) and Ryan Wilczek (195) received forfeits.
In the tournament, all Panthers won matches and three advanced to the championship match. Peters, Heinle and Allred all wrestled in the championship match of their respective weights but all were defeated by “quality” opponents from New Mexico.
“There were some quality wrestlers from Colorado and New Mexico at this tournament,” head coach Jeff Heinle said. “We went down there to see other teams from our region and it looks like we are going to have a tough regional tournament this year in Grand Junction. Ignacio and Dove Creek both have solid wrestlers.”
Peters finished fourth, Ruiz was fifth and Wilczek placed sixth in his bracket.
Rangely finished fifth as a team with only six wrestlers, behind Bloomfield, N.M., Piedra Vista, N.M., Ignacio and Dove Creek.
The Panthers will travel to Crowley County this weekend for the final regular season tournament before the state-qualifying regional tournament in Grand Junction.