The Lansing boys’ wrestling team experienced a successful weekend at the 5A state tournament at Hartman Arena in Park City, highlighted by second-place finishers in Hartwell Taylor and Jacob McLain.
The Lions finished 13th out of 35 teams with 48 points with eight individuals competing over the weekend.
“I thought we competed well and came to wrestle,” head coach Nick Flynn said. “We took a lot of hard losses but I saw a lot of great things from our younger wrestlers. They were certainly there to compete and not just for ‘the show.’ That is a very promising thing for a coach. I am proud of my team and the way we competed.”
Taylor and McLain earned the best state finishes of their high school careers after falling short in similar positions last season.
“They were both able to avenge losses in the state semifinals,” he said. “This shows that we continued to get better throughout the year. Obviously it is tough for those kids to lose the last match of the season, but it will give them fuel and motivation to continue to push themselves over the summer and into next season. Hartwell will use this to motivate him into college.”
Flynn said he was impressed with sophomore Kobi Lawrence in the 285-pound class despite falling in both matches Friday.
“Being a young heavyweight is a hard thing to do,” he said, “but his competitiveness gives me a lot of faith that he will be winning many of those matches through the next two years.”
Even with two second-place finishers, Flynn said the Lions still have a lot of progress to make.
“We have to continue to get better,” he said. “We are at the point where we are a really solid team that can compete at the highest level. Many of our athletes were not satisfied with their performance, and want more. I love this as a coach. I am certain that our guys will be back in the room training to push themselves further.”
With state qualifiers Camden Maestas, Dylan Ward, Tristen Givens, Jack Knutson, Lane Gates, McLain and Lawrence set to return next season, the Lions will have a path to another busy postseason.
“I think we are going to be a dangerous team up and down the lineup,” Flynn said. “Our kids are motivated and willing to work. I am really just excited to continue to be around these awesome kids. They are all around great kids that are fun to coach. Next year started on Monday. Time for us to continue to improve.”