June 2—Shortly after the state football championships in mid-November, the 2021-22 high school winter sports season kicked off, with team championships and individual titles up for grabs in six sports – basketball, swimming for boys, wrestling, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and indoor track.
The Star-Tribune took a look back at the 2021-22 fall prep season yesterday, followed by a closer look at winter sports today. The three-part series will end on Friday with the spring sports season.
Thunder Basin survived a tough semifinal against Kelly Walsh, then beat Cheyenne East to win the Class 4A championship behind Gatorade Player of the Year Deegan Williams. The title was the first for a Bolts boys team.
In 3A, Rawlins held on for a 40-39 win over Douglas. The Outlaws got 17 points from Ashton Barto. Jarron Mascarenas tipped the ball as Douglas braced for a potentially game-winning shot to preserve Rawlins’ first state title in 25 years.
Pine Bluffs captured their third 2A championship in seven years with a 52-41 win over Big Horn. Juniors Stu Lerwick (20) and Ryan Fornstrom (17) combined for 37 points and the Hornets outscored the Rams 33-24 in the second half.
Upton won back-to-back 1A titles with Dawson Smith, Luca Brooks and Nathan Baker all scoring in double digits in the Bobcats’ 58-51 win over Dubois. Cody Wright had a game-high 26 points for the Rams.
Douglas saw his 48-game winning streak snapped during the regular season, but won his fourth straight 3A championship with a 45-37 victory over Lyman. Sisters Allison Olsen (17) and Lauren Olsen (12) combined for 29 points as the Bearcats won their fourth straight state title (2018-19, 2021-22).
In a battle of undefeated teams in the 4A Championship Game, Cheyenne East defeated Cody 51-41 behind 17 points from Boden Liljedahl and 16 from Gatorade Player of the Year Jordan Jones to claim their second consecutive title.
In the 2A title game, Rocky Mountain’s Victoria Arnold had a game-high 24 points to lead the Grizzlies to a 46-35 win over Moorcroft. It was Rocky Mountain’s first state title since 1993.
The Southeast won the 1A Championship, beating Upton 58-53 in overtime. Brenna Herring (17), Kealy Carson (11) and Sidney Anderson (10) all scored in double digits for the Cyclones.
Lander continued his 3A dominance by winning his 26th straight state championship. The Tigers won two stints and got individual gold from Jonny Kulow (50 free, 100 free), Nolan McFadden (100 backstroke), Dylan Huelskamp (200 free), Brayden Brown (500 free), Benny Kulow (200 IM) and Brennen Blackburn (100 fly).
Jonny Kulow set state records in the 50m freestyle (20.07 seconds in the preliminaries) and 100m freestyle (44.15 in the final) and teamed up with McFadden, Huelskamp and Blackburn to set the new standard in Status at the 400m free relay (3:05.88). Kulow, who will swim at Arizona State, leaves Lander with five individual state records in addition to swimming on all three state-record-holding relay teams.
The 500 freestyle title was the third in a row for Brown, while Powell’s Nate Johnston won his third consecutive 100 breaststroke title.
In 4A, Laramie finished on the podium for the fifth consecutive year, with Dylan Bressler defending his diving crown, Mace Spiker-Miller winning his third consecutive 100m butterfly title and Collin Fontana winning the 500m freestyle.
Cheyenne Central’s Matt Pietsch (200 freestyle, 100 backstroke) and Ethan Merrill (200 IM, 100 breaststroke) both won two individual championships at the national meet.
After years of placing in the top five, Kemmerer finally won his first tag team title. Rangers had three individual champions – Karl Haslem (120lbs), Roany Proffit (126) and Riggen Walker (145) – to claim the 2A Championship.
The 3A title went to Star Valley for the seventh straight year, but did not secure its final championship until Harrison Hoopes won the title at 195. The Braves, who move to 4A for the 2022-23 season, finished just 2.5 points ahead of Douglas (216-213.5) in the team race.
Also in 3A, Sefton Douglass of Lyman and Cody Phelps of Pinedale became the newest members of the Four-Timers Club and the first wrestlers from their respective schools to join the exclusive club. Douglass, who went 50-0 at 126, was undefeated the past three seasons and finished his prep career with a 166-3 record. Phelps was undefeated his junior and senior seasons and went 194-5 in his prep career.
Natrona County won the 4A title for the second year in a row, with Tate Tromble (113), Billy Brenton (145), Kaeden Wilcox (160), Noah Sides (182) and Brendyn Nelson (195) all winning gold individual.
The Sheridan boys won their fourth straight tag team title and the Cheyenne Central girls held off Gillette to win for the second time in three years.
For the Broncs, Carter McComb won the 55 and 200 meter dashes, Austin Akers won the 1600, Ryan Karajanis won the pole vault for the third straight year and Texas Tanner won the shot put. Sheridan also won three relays, with the 1600 medley sprint team of McComb, Dominick Berrettini, Patrick Aasby and Reece Charest setting a state record with a time of 3 minutes, 39.57 seconds. McComb also set a new state standard in the 55, running 6.47 seconds in the preliminaries.
For Central, Sydney Morrell won the 800m for the second straight year, Kaya Pillivant won the 3200m title, Brinkley Lewis was the pole vault champion and Katie Thomson won gold in the triple jump. The Indians also won the 1600m medley sprint.
The Gillette team of Aubry Dewine, Aja Roberts, Nyomi Moore and Sydalee Brown won the 4×200 in a state record time of 1:45.38.
Jackson swept the tag team titles, with the boys winning for the fourth straight year and the girls for the 11th.
Individually, Kate Brigham of the Broncs won gold in the freestyle/skate and classic races for the second year in a row. Jackson’s Mason Wheeler won both races for the boys.
Jackson again swept the tag team championships as well as the individual titles. The girls’ team won their 13th straight state championship and the boys’ team their 11th in a row.
The Broncs girls also saw Taylor Smith win the slalom and Cadel Carrigan the giant slalom. On the boys’ side, Travis D’Amours was the slalom champion and Nicholas Janssen the giant slalom winner.
Follow sportswriter Jack Nowlin on Twitter @wyovarsity.
Wyoming State High School Championships
Thunder Basin Bolts Basketball
Lander Tigers Swimming and Diving
Douglas Bearcats Basketball
Jackson Broncs Skiing
Laramie Plainsmen Swimming and Diving
Cheyenne East Thunderbirds Basketball
Rawlins Outlaws Basketball
Upton Bobcats Basketball
Pine Bluffs Hornets Basketball
Southeast Cyclones Basketball
Rocky Mountain Grizzlies Basketball
Natrona County Mustangs Wrestling
Star Valley Braves Fight
Kemmerer Rangers Fight
Cheyenne Central Indians Athletics
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