Former Payson Wrestlers Show National Title Promise

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The college wrestling season officially came to a close last weekend with the NCAA Division I Championships in Detroit, Mich.

Former Payson Longhorn wrestling star Nate Lee represented Boise State University at 174 pounds as a redshirt freshman. He qualified for the championships by placing third in the PAC 10 after completing an impressive freshman year for the Boise wrestling squad.

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Standing fourth place, Larry Wilbanks, a sophomore at Western, earned his second All-American award with a fourth-place finish at an extremely tough weight class.

His first match was with Gabriel Dretsch of the University of Minnesota, where Nate lost a tough 5-3 decision to the All-American grappler.

In his second match in the consolation bracket, he defeated his Millersville State opponent by a major decision of 12-3. His final match was another close loss to a University of Tennessee wrestler.

It is interesting to note that the only points Boise State scored in the tournament were earned by Nate Lee. He has three more quality years in his pursuit of a national title.

The previous week, his brother, Zach Lee, finished his season at the NCAA Division II championships, where he earned All-American status with a sixth place finish at 165 pounds.

This was his second All-American performance, having placed seventh last year as a sophomore.

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Standing in sixth place, Zach Lee finished his season at the NCAA Division II championships, where he earned All-American status with a sixth-place finish at 165 pounds.

On the first day of the championships, he defeated both of his opponents by an identical 5-0 score, which put Zach in the semifinals and guaranteed him an All-American position. He lost a real heartbreaker by a 3-2 score in the semis to Andy Pickar of Mankato State.

Zach will be back his senior year as one of the leaders for the Western State College wrestling team.

At 174 pounds, Larry Wilbanks, a sophomore at Western, earned his second All-American award with a fourth-place finish at an extremely tough weight class.

After day one, he was also in the championships semifinals, having majored his first opponent by a 14-5 score followed by a 9-3 victory in his second match.

On day two, he lost a close battle with Jeremiah Naig, the two-time national champion. Larry then won his next match to secure the fourth-place All-American honor.

With Wilbanks and Zach Lee both returning for Western State and a veteran wrestling squad, they will certainly be a team to contend for the national title.

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