NAMPA, Idaho – Endurance was the theme at Friday’s 5A/4A State wrestling tournament, as Idaho’s best wrestlers crammed an entire championship bracket into one day.
Defending state champion Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene placed third and fourth, respectively, while seven North Idaho wrestlers earned individual state titles at the Ford Idaho Center.
“Our kids wrestled really well,” Post Falls coach Pete Reardon said. “We didn’t have the firepower to take first this year, but our kids competed their hearts out, and that’s what we care about most.”
Five Post Falls wrestlers made the finals. Freshman Tyson Barnhart won the title at 106 pounds, earning a 6-4 decision over Kuna’s Cole Currin. The match went into overtime after Currin tied the score at the last second, but Barnhart answered in sudden-death OT.
“I worked too hard to lose it like that,” Barnhart said. “My gas tank was good, so I was ready to go.”
Lane Reardon captured Post Falls’ second individual title. It was also the second championship of his career, and he did it by avenging a district championship loss to Coeur d’Alene’s Nolan Randles with an 11-4 decision in the 145-pound final.
“I was just trying to wrestle smart and hard,” Reardon said. “I knew I needed to give full effort and take inches whenever I could get them.”
After winning his final high school match, Reardon celebrated with his father and coach.
“It’s extremely special,” coach Reardon said. “I’m lucky to have been blessed with a really good boy. We have a great working relationship and it’s been so fun to coach him because he’s a hard worker and a good leader for us.”
Coeur d’Alene was anchored by a trio of individual champions. The headliner was 170-pound junior Gunner Giulio, who knocked off Kuna’s Dante Roggio with a 5-3 decision. Giulio, now a three-time state champion, has a chance for a rare fourth next season.
“This match was super special and memorable for me because I lost to him twice earlier in the season, but I worked my tail off to get where I needed to be,” Giulio said.
Drew Roberts (152) and Rylan Rogers (195) also won championships for the Vikings. Rogers pinned Rocky Mountain’s Bronson Staley in the second round, while Roberts earned a 3-2 decision over Kuna’s Preston Owens to cap his career with a state repeat.
“This has been the most memorable one,” said Roberts, who also won a state title in Oregon as a freshman. “We had a great team this year and it was fun to compete with the guys.”
Lake City senior Matt Whitcomb also closed his career with back-to-back titles, avenging an earlier loss Meridian’s Kaleb Smith in the 182-pound final.
“It means everything,” Whitcomb said. “My dad was a two-time state champ. Everyone behind me was giving me support, and I’m happy I got the job done.”
Meridian won the 5A team championship.
In 4A, Jerome was the team champion, with Lakeland finishing fourth. Senior Riley Siegford was the lone individual champ for Lakeland, pinning Blackfoot’s Austin Ramirez in the 145-pound final.
“I do better when I wrestle match after match, so I liked this format better,” Siegford said. “If this is my last wrestling match ever, it’s good to end with a win.”
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