For the first time in 17 years, the Laramie Plainsmen won multiple individual titles at the 4A State Wrestling Championships in Casper.

Juniors Idris Elias and Carless Looney won a crown in dramatic fashion at 126 and 170 pounds, respectively.

Elias won a double overtime sudden victory over Ryder Jones of Cheyenne Central, 4-3.

“It’s great to finally get back on top,” said Elias. “Last year I fell short in the semis (in Kansas)… Just coming home to Laramie and the finishing up the way I planned to last year; just coming out strong as I always wanted to do feels great.”

Looney captured a 3-2 decision over Keegan Berry of Natrona County. He led 3-1, but was called for stalling, which Looney admitted put a scare into him. He was able to hold on for victory.

“It feels great. I fell a little short last year, and I’m just glad I got that state title this year.”

The last time Laramie had more than one individual state champ on the mat was when they had three back in 1999. That’s also the last team title Laramie won.

Courtesy of Kemsley Gallegos-LHS Wrestling Manager
Courtesy of Kemsley Gallegos-LHS Wrestling Manager

As a squad, the Laramie Plainsmen came in sixth place with 141 team points. Green River won the title with 228.5 points. Gillette and Cheyenne East were second and third. LHS was only 12.5 points back of Sheridan for fourth and 4.5 points behind Rock Springs for fifth.

Laramie finished with four other place winners.

Sophomore Arsenio Lemus was runner-up at 120 pounds. Junior Kaden Schriner came in third at 145 pounds. Seniors Will Kozlowski and Tristan Rogers ended up in fifth place at 152 and 195 pounds, respectively.

Head coach Mikah Kadera was very happy about Saturday’s effort.

“We came out and wrestled our tails off on that second day. We went five-for-six in the placing matches… On Friday, that first round kind of came back to haunt us… but responded great.”

Kadera felt it was a good weekend overall.

“We got two state champs; six total placers; hasn’t been done in a long, long time… very satisfying in that regard to finish strong on Saturday.”

The future looks bright for the Laramie Plainsmen. Out of the 18 wrestlers that competed at the state championships, 15 are set to return next season.

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