PANORA — The plaudits already earned by Panorama senior Wyatt Appleseth are many.
Ranked second in Class 2A, he is undefeated this season at 43-0. His 167-18 career mark is far and away the most wins of any Panther grappler, and Thursday will witness the standout become the first matman in school history to compete for the fourth time at the state wrestling tournament.
One thing eludes Appleseth — a state championship on the mat.
Wyatt is following older brother George in making trips to the Wells Fargo Arena. The elder Appleseth was 44-11 and sixth as a senior at 132 pounds in 2017 after making two prior trips but missing the podium both times.
The current star Appleseth was 43-12 and eighth at 132 pounds as a freshman, finished 39-5 but missed the 145-podium as a sophomore, then bounced back last season to stand third, at 42-1, at 152 pounds.
Appleseth’s quest to take two additional steps on the podium begins Thursday at 6 p.m. in Session 3 of the tourney. He opens against Sergeant Bluff-Luton sophomore Garrett McHugh, who is 36-13 this season.
The other pairing in the opening four-man pod has Woodward-Granger junior Dustin Harney (40-8) facing Ballard sophomore Gabriel Christensen (36-6).
Opening round losers will wrestle a second time Thursday against each other, with that winner staying alive. Winners Thursday will not compete again until Friday.
The 2A quarterfinals and second-round consolations are in Session 5 Friday at 2:30 p.m. with Session 6, at 7:30 p.m. featuring the 2A semifinals and third-round consolations.
Matches for places 3-8 are held in Session 7 at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the finals at 6 p.m. Saturday.