LFL/SE girls place 12th at state tourney


CASPER – Five athletes represented the combined Lingle-Fort Laramie/Southeast (LFLSE) wrestling team at the 2024 Girls’ State Wrestling Championships in Casper from February 22-24, garnering 11th place out of 45 competing programs.

Teams hailed from all classifications at the girls’ tournament, from 2A schools to significantly larger 4A squads. LFL/SE posted 53 team points, tying for 12th place with Lyman. With the exception of Wind River and Kemmerer, the teams in the top 11 consisted entirely of 3A and 4A programs.

“We had an extremely successful season,” coach Brandon Gifford said. “To be able to go 4-for-4 in the finals and having 11 total medalists was an awesome experience for me as a coach and a proud moment for sure. I’m just so happy for all of our wrestlers and the work they put in to get to this point.”

Senior Josie Houk captured the state championship in the 155-pound bracket (see story above) to finish the 2023-2024 season with an undefeated record. Houk pinned Big Piney’s Charleigh Smith 1 minute, 10 seconds into the quarterfinals and advanced to the semifinals to take down Eva Anderson, of Sheridan, by fall at 3:03.

Entering the first-place match against Cheyenne East’s Kaelyn Ronnau, Houk battled her opponent into the second period and pinned Ronnau at 3:44.

Sophomore Hallie Fuller snapped up fifth place in the 140-pound weight division. Fighting her way up through the consolation bracket, Fuller pinned Cheyenne Central’s Abby Knopp 43 seconds into the first wrestle-back round and felled Abby Dickerson, of Kelly Walsh, in the second consolation round at 4:03.

Fuller pinned Kloey Walker, of Rawlins, 39 seconds into the fifth-place match on Saturday.

Sophomores Kennedi Blevins (110 pounds), sophomore Kaiten Schilreff (130 pounds) and Avery VanGundy also competed for LFL/SE at state. VanGundy and Schilreff advanced to the second consolation rounds in their respective weight classifications and contributed three team points apiece.