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Westwood is state champ

Modified: Friday, Mar 15th, 2013

Justin Westwood is overcome by emotion after winning the state championship in his weight class on Saturday, Feb. 23. Photo credit: Andrew Towne, Torrington Telegram

CASPER — From only three match wins his freshman year to Wyoming state champ as a senior, Justin Westwood has come a long way. But it wasn’t without a lot of pain and hard work.

“He’s done what we’ve told him to do. He’s worked hard, lifted and gone to camps, and was just always in the room, trying to get better,” said Kemmerer High School wrestling coach Darrell Bullington. “He got hurt last year at the regional tournament and he couldn’t wrestle at state. That’s quite a story, from where he started to where he ended up. It was just a lot of hard work and dedication.”

Bullington was pleased with all the Rangers’ performances at state.

“Of the four kids that we took — and especially those that placed — they all had great years,” he said. “They all wrestled really well all tournament, I thought. They peaked at the right point.”

Westwood and Garrett Julian, a junior this year, both wrestle in the same weight class, 132, and are often closely matched. Julian placed fourth at state, but still has another year to make his mark.

“Garrett — he won several tournaments in the year. He’s wrestled well all year. I think he ended up winning 43 matches. I’d have to look at my records — I think he’s a match away from tying the all time win record. He had a great year,” Bullington said of Julian.

And Taylor Chapin, just a freshman, has made an impression in one short year.

“Taylor, as a freshman, winning 34 matches is pretty special. He lost to the same kid in the state tournament twice — the first time it was a 34-point match, but the second time it was in overtime. He’s real close to being there at third place, but he wrestled really well,” said Bullington of the terrific start to Chapin’s high school wrestling career.

Rylee Roberts is a junior, and came close to placing at state.

“Rylee beat a kid he’s never beaten, and if he had won his last match, he would have placed,” explained Bullington. “He lost right at the end of the match, in a one-point match to a kid that’s always been a real tough kid for him. He wrestled well.”

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