Craugh, Bozin, Banko, Lamborn advance |

Craugh, Bozin, Banko, Lamborn advance

Appeal Sports Writer

RENO – The senior quartet of Travis Lamborn, Kyle Banko, Robbie Bozin and Owen Craugh have had many nicknames since they began wrestling for the Carson Senators.

First they were the “Four Freshmen.” Then that evolved into the “Final Four.” And after the four wrestlers advanced to the championship-bracket quarterfinals in the Asics Sierra Nevada Classic at the Reno Livestock Events Center on Wednesday, first-year Carson coach Tyson Thivierge came up with a couple more sobriquets for the quartet.

“These are my ‘Four Horsemen’ – my seniors,” Thivierge said. “These guys are the ‘Fearsome Foursome.'”

And they once again became the “Final Four” when Lamborn took a 9-1 major decision over Greg Weitzman, of Acalance (Calif.) High School, to join Banko, Bozin and Craugh in the quarters, as the rest of the 10-member Carson contingent bowed out earlier in the tournament.

Carson is in 25th place, with 61.5 points.

Buhach Colony (Calif.) leads all teams with 113.5 points. Thurston (Ore.) is second with 106.5, followed by Burns (Ore.) with 99.5, Redmond (Ore.) with 99 and Del Oro (Calif.) with 86.

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Galena is in 13th place and leads all Northern Nevada teams with 75.5 points. Damonte Ranch is 18th (73.5), Fallon is 20th (69), Lowry is in 21st (67) and Spring Creek (60) is in 30th.

Douglas is in 49th, with 42.5 points.

Lamborn, wrestling at 160 pounds this season, finished a career-best fourth in last year’s Sierra Nevada Classic. Now he is trying to break his curse of finishing in third place, having ended up No. 3 in the middle school nationals in eighth grade, Northern Nevada 4A regionals, Class 4A state and the WOW (World of Wrestling) tournaments.

Lamborn, seeded No. 4, pinned Matt Hourigan, of Santa Clara, in 5 minutes, 23 seconds to open up the tournament and followed with an 8-7 decision over Justin Martin, of Redmond, in the second match.

Against Weitzman, Lamborn notched a pair of takedowns for a 4-1 lead headed into the second period. By the end of the period, with a 7-1 lead, Lamborn was the stronger wrestler, pushing around his opponent with impunity.

“That’s who I’ve been waiting to see – Travis in that match,” Thivierge said. “Travis is deceiving. He doesn’t have the size of these guys, who are all beefed up. He’s a technical wrestler. He probably could’ve built on that lead. But that’s understandable, seeing how he’s coming off an injury (strained abdominal muscles).”

Lamborn was also fighting a cold that has been making its rounds on the other members of the team.

“I felt like I started out as strong as I finished,” Lamborn said of his match with Weitzman. “He dropped off and got weaker. I stayed at a good pace. I feel pretty good. I feel like I can run with any of these guys I wrestle. I just have to stay away from getting thrown on my back.”

Bozin, who is seeded No. 9 at 125 pounds and finished second at the recent Las Vegas Holiday Classic, pinned Will Hughes, of Sandpoint (Idaho), in 1 minute and followed with a 6-0 decision over Patrick Mills, of Burns. Bozin also took a 2-1 win over Jeremy Stubbs, of Del Oro.

“He needs more offense. He held too much back,” Thivierge said of Bozin. “He’s capable of destroying people. You know me, I’ll never say he had a perfect match.”

Bozin, an outside linebacker and running back for the Carson football team, has dropped 15 pounds for the wrestling season.

“I’ve been working out and eating right,” said Bozin, who said he’s been in a bad mood throughout four years of high school wrestling because of his spartan diet.

In addition to proper nutrition and training, Bozin credits another factor for his and his team’s success.

“Coaching…coaching. Good coaching,” Bozin said. “He (Thivierge) knows how to treat us right so we’re not hating life. It still sucks, but he makes it easier.”

Bozin’s best finish in the Sierra Nevada Classic is fifth and he gets a chance at revenge against No. 1 seed Glen Terrano, of Palo Verde, in the quarterfinal match today at 10 a.m. Terrano beat Bozin 3-2 in the finals at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic.

“That match should not have been close at all,” Thivierge said of the contest, insinuating that Bozin should’ve won.

For his part, the 130-pound Banko – seeded No. 1 – is attempting to defend his Sierra Nevada Classic title. In addition to winning his first SNC last year, Banko took second in zone and state at 130.

Banko started off with an 18-8 major decision over Court Oswald, of Bonanza (Las Vegas), and a pin at 2:35 against Marcus Ancira, of Watsonville (Calif.). He also pinned Daniel Merrill, of Thurston (Ore.), in 3:42.

“In the second and third match he looked good,” Thivierge said of Banko, who tore his left MCL during the football season. “In the first one he looked sluggish. He didn’t try enough leg attacks. He’s capable of more offense.”

Banko didn’t require surgery on his knee and is happy to be back on the mat.

“I’m feeling good,” Banko said. “I just healed quick. I wanted to wrestle so bad. I was kinda tired in the first match. After that I started beating them up.”

As did Craugh, seeded No. 7 at 112 pounds. Craugh, coming off a title-winning performance in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, pinned Kevin Richardson, of Modoc (Calif.), in 1:10, took a technical fall (17-2) over Jake Whatley, of Folsom (Calif.), and a 4-2 decision over Alec Ward, of Sandpoint, on a last-second takedown.

“He’s still on that track, that locomotive he got on in Las Vegas,” Thivierge said of Craugh. “He killed kids. He was real solid. He didn’t want to settle for overtime. He had a takedown with no time left. He didn’t give up at the end of the match. That’s what we’re trying to teach these kids. These four will rub off on the younger kids.”

Craugh said he wasn’t at 100 percent.

“I wasn’t feeling good. I have a cold,” Craugh said. “I was weak, but I picked it up each match.”

Not given to superlatives, Thivierge said there’s a lot of work ahead.

“I’m relatively happy so far,” he said. “It’s a long day tomorrow.”

Damonte Ranch also has four wrestlers in the championship bracket – Jordan O’Neal (112), Brock Frank (140), No. 1 seed Trey Edmunds (152) and heavyweight Travis Moon – and one in the consolation bracket.

Fallon has three in the championship bracket – Trent deBraga (135), Trevor deBraga (145) and heavyweight Lyle Gardner – and two in the consolation bracket.

Douglas has four wrestlers remaining in the consolation bracket, with Jake Williams (160) its lone championship-bracket competitor.

Galena has three in the consolations and No. 1 seed Nick Williams (215) in the championship bracket.

Spring Creek’s Nick Wooden (119) and Trinity Perkins (152) are in the championship bracket, with two other wrestlers in the consolation bracket.

Action continues today at 10 a.m., with the championship finals to begin at 5 p.m.

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