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Wright wins 6 of 7 matches in return to wrestling mat

| January 26, 2009 11:00 PM

The Western News

Libby High School’s Kyle Sweedman and Justin Graham each made it through the Class A Duals on Friday and Saturday at Belgrade with unbeaten records and Seth Wright returned to action by winning six of seven.

Sweedman, who wrestles at 152, won three by pin, one by technical fall, one by major decision and the other on a close 9-8 decision over Easton Padden of Laurel. Sweedman’s quickest match ended in 43 seconds with a win over Dillon Wood of Hamilton.

But his most impressive was a 14-0 rout of No. 2-ranked Tucker Taylor of Belgrade.

“He just dominated him,” Libby coach Jay Graham said. “It sends a message that he’s one of the guys that has a chance to be state champion.”

Graham worked up more of a sweat during warmups than during his actual matches. The Libby senior won all six of his matches at 215 on pins in less than a minute. In the dual against Laurel on Friday, Graham pinned Roy Voss in just 11 seconds.

Graham’s first victory in the tournament on Friday was the 100th of his varsity career. And with that, he is now a member of the elite “Century Club.”

But perhaps the most inspirational performance of the tournament came out of Wright, who had been out of action the last two weeks after suffering memory loss. After numerous doctors examined him, a neurologist finally determined that he had a condition that involved a pinched artery in his neck, which led to memory loss.

“It was good morale having him back,” Coach Graham said. “He has his health and hopefully his memory will come back.”

Doctors cleared Wright to wrestle and said that it should be treated as if nothing happened. Coach Graham said that the doctors indicated that those lost memories would eventually return.

Because of the memory loss, Wright had to learn many facets of the sport all over again, including rules. But he performed well and all six of his victories came by pin. The senior’s lone loss was a 6-2 decision to Ronan’s Marcus Schiele. Wright had a pin in 15 seconds over Ethan Leneger of Dillon.

Cody Elliott won four of five matches. He went 3-1 at 135 with two decisions and a pin. Elliott also competed in one match at 140 and won by pin. Brandin Mills went 4-2 at heavyweight.

Libby went 3-4 over two days of duals. As has been the case this season, the Greenchain’s forfeits in the lightest weights presented challenges to compete on a team level.

The Greenchain won all of their matches on the mat in a 60-24 win over Livingston. Libby followed up with a 39-37 victory over Corvallis before falling to Laurel, 45-39. Losses against Belgrade (58-22), Dillon (48-42) and Ronan (48-26) followed before the Loggers finished with a 48-29 win over Hamilton for seventh place.

Havre won the tournament with Belgrade finishing runner-up, Corvallis third and Dillon fourth. The dual for fifth place between Ronan and Anaconda did not materialize with both schools opting to head home early.

Besides Sweedman, Graham and Wright, other wrestlers with winning records included Kyle Leir (2-1, 125), Cody Elliott (3-1, 125) and Brandin Mills (3-2, Hwt.). Three of his wins came on pins and both losses were on decisions.

Other Libby wrestlers posting victories were Kyle Leir (2-2), Michael Roby (1-1), Tate Wilson (2-4), Dylan Berget (1-4), Charlie Berget (3-4) and Kody Berget (3-3).

The Loggers played host to Columbia Falls on Tuesday and will appear at Ralph Tate Gymnasium again on Saturday with a dual against Whitefish. Divisionals will be staged at LHS on Feb. 7.

Class A Duals

Jan. 23-24 at Belgrade

Round 1 – Havre 84, Billings Central 3; Belgrade 76, Glendive 9; Ronan 60, Browning 27; Libby 60, Livingston 24.

Round 2 – Dillon 54, Miles City 33; Anaconda 60, Hardin 24; Hamilton 48, Lewistown 36; Corvallis 48, Laurel 32.

Round 3 – Havre 71, Dillon 3; Belgrade 60, Lewistown 24; Libby 39, Corvallis 37; Ronan 52, Hardin 22.

Round 4 – Miles City 39, Billings Central 23; Anaconda 63, Browning 24; Laurel 56, Livingston 30; Hamilton 48, Glendive 40.

Round 5 – Havre 75, Miles City 11; Belgrade 66, Hamilton 15; Ronan 48, Anaconda 34; Laurel 45, Libby 39.

Round 6 – Dillon 72, Billings Central 10; Glendive 42, Lewistown 30; Hardin 54, Browning 24; Corvallis 75, Livingston 9.

Round 7 – Miles City 58, Browning 18; Livingston 48, Glendive 33; Havre 81, Hamilton 6; Belgrade 58, Libby 22.

Round 8 – Laurel 60, Lewistown 22; Hardin 48, Billings Central 33; Corvallis 66, Anaconda 15; Dillon 49, Ronan 36.

Round 9 – Laurel 51, Miles City 26; Glendive 42, Hardin 29; Havre 72, Corvallis 12; Belgrade 59, Ronan 18.

Round 10 – Browning 52, Lewistown 24; Livingston 45, Billings Central 36; Anaconda 45, Hamilton 37; Dillon 48, Libby 42.

Round 11 – Havre 85, Anaconda 0; Belgrade 58, Dillon 19; Miles City 52, Lewistown 18; Billings Central 43, Glendive 36.

Round 12 – Laurel 64, Browning 21; Hardin 42, Livingston 36; Corvallis 63, Hamilton 23; Ronan 48, Libby 26.

Round 13 – Laurel 67, Hardin 18; Miles City 45, Livingston 42; Billings Central 39, Browning 31.

Seventh Place – Libby 48, Hamilton 29

Fifth Place – Ronan vs. Anaconda, cancelled

Third Place – Corvallis 63, Dillon 22

Championship – Havre 57, Belgrade 18