Senior’s Carless Looney and Kaden Schriner capped their careers as state champions at last weekend’s 4A State Wrestling tournament in Casper.

Looney won his second straight title and capped a 46-2 season with a major decision in the title match at 195 pounds. He won his first three matches by fall. His first round was a quick 19 seconds for a pin. That was followed by a pin in 1:36 and then 1:40 in the semifinals.

Laramie head coach Mikah Kadera said Carless can wrestle with anybody in the state.

“He’s also one of the best kids in the state, but he also proved that whatever weight he needs to go, he’ll do that for the team.”

Looney took on Terren Swartz of Gillette in the finals. Just a week earlier at the regional tournament, Looney prevailed in a tight, 6-4 match. This time he out-maneuvered Swartz for a 17-8 major decision.

Kadera said of Looney in the championship, “(He) wrestled smart, wrestled aggressive, you know, we had a two-point match with that kid last week at regionals. We took a little bit different focus, and he was a little bit different attitude, I think; and ready to win that second one.”

Schriner won his first state championship at 145 pounds after being a runner-up and taking third the two previous years. Schriner rolled to the finals with three victories by fall. He got quicker as the rounds progressed. Schriner won his first round with a pin at 2:27. Then it took just 1:05 in round two followed by a pin in 37 seconds in the semis.

Kadera said of Schriner,

“(He) wrestled great. First three matches had pins, and then had to gut out a finals performance. He’s deserved one his whole career.”

The championship was a major battle against Javen Palmer of Kelly Walsh. It went to a third overtime, ultimate tie break, and Schriner prevailed 4-3. He concluded his season at 50-3.

In the title match, Kadera described Palmer as very defensive oriented. “The kid had a great game-plan… that’s what he had to do to keep a match with his… We did everything we needed to win; a lot closer than we wanted, but a state championship’s a state championship.”

KOWB caught up with the state champs and asked them about their title, their path and more.

Laramie finished with four other placers for a total of six at state wrestling. Senior Idris Elias lost in the title match at 126 pounds. He was ahead 5-2 before he lost by fall at 3:24. Elias finished his season at 45-6. Sophomore Ethan Sell (39-12) and junior Arsenio Lemus (35-13) both placed fourth at 106 and 132 pounds, respectively. Senior Tony Ortega (11-10) added a sixth place finish at 285 pounds.

As a team the Plainsmen took eighth with 125 points.

Kadera added, “It was tough as team stand-point. We got six placers again; same as last year; something that hadn’t been done since the early 2000’s. Again we got two champs, one runner-up, two fourths and a sixth. Overall, those guys wrestled well… As a team stand-point, the guys are little disappointed.”

Green River repeated as state champs with 221 points. Natrona and Gillette were second and third, respectively.

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