Making History: Stoddard earns fourth consecutive title in same weight class

Mike Moore photo
Tate Stoddard leaps into the arms of Glenrock wrestling coach Nic Dillon after winning his fourth state title at the 2A State Wrestling Championships Feb. 23.

Eddie Poe

For about five full minutes, Tate Stoddard practically brought the Wyoming State Wrestling Championships to a halt. As he ripped off his ankle wrap and looked toward the Glenrock faithful at the far end of the Casper Events Center, all eyes were on him.
The senior grappler etched his name in the history books last Saturday in more ways than one. He joined the exclusive four-timers club and became the first-ever at Glenrock High School to do so. Stoddard also left a more permanent mark in state wrestling lore, becoming the first wrestler to ever win four state titles in the same weight class. He is now purely in a league of his own.
“I have no words,” Stoddard said shortly after his win in the 113-pound state title match over Brock Blevins of Southeast.
After running and jumping into the arms of head coach Nic Dillon, who tightly held Stoddard as he wept on his shoulder, the Glenrock senior then jumped the guard rail at the Events Center and ran into the stands to share his victory with the community.
As he made his way through the crowd, a standing ovation ensued for the four-time champion. Stoddard eventually found his way to his parents, Ryan and Dusty, who wrapped their arms around their son and glowed with extreme pride.
“I wouldn’t have gone on this journey without all of them,” Stoddard said. “All of those people mean the world to me.”
Stoddard made the prediction before the state tournament that he would shed a tear, and he was right on the money.
He soaked in the moment for as long as he could. His name will now forever be linked with not only the greatest wrestlers in Glenrock history, but also Wyoming. Tate Stoddard will soon read across the walls of the Glenrock Rec Center, motivating a future generation of wrestlers the same way those before him did.
“Seeing those names up there was a huge motivational booster,” Stoddard said. “Going down there and being able to follow in their footsteps has been really cool.
“I hope the wrestlers after me see that hard work and dedication can get you somewhere. To know that you have to work really hard, but you can get there.”
Along with being a four-time champion and making history, Stoddard ends his career with 206 wins, 171 of them by pin. He’s also a four-time regional champion and is one of only 24 wrestlers to win the Ron Thon Invitational three times.
Later in the day, Glenrock senior Ian Arnold also orchestrated a memorable moment for himself. After advancing to the state finals for the second straight year, he faced off against reigning state champion Rowdy Pfeil of Moorcroft. He came into the match having never beat Pfeil, and lost to him twice earlier in the season, including the week prior at the regional tournament.
“I kind’ve overlooked him at regionals and he took me down and pinned me,” Arnold recalled. “I worked hard all week on that.”
The end result was being crowned a state champion. As the referee slapped his hand on the mat, Arnold couldn’t believe his eyes. He too jumped into the arms of Dillon and eventually made his way into the crowd of Glenrock fans.
“I went into the match nervous because you’re always nervous about something you care about,” Arnold said. “It was just like my senior quote, ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.’”
As a team, the Herders finished third overall in 2A with 155 points, behind only Moorcroft (185) and Kemmerer (181). Along with Stoddard and Arnold, Glenrock also sent Brysen Collier, Zane Moore and Noah Halsey to the championship round.
Although they each fell in defeat, it represented a season of true dedication and commitment.
“There’s a sense of pride that I feel,” Collier said shortly after his loss in the 132-pound state title match. “I just hope kids continue to enjoy wrestling in Glenrock and keep working hard because what we have right here did not come easy. It came from hours of hard work and blood, sweat and tears.”
Along with the five finalists, Dustin Simmons also left Casper with a fifth-place finish.
“Usually you’ll have kids come out of the finals and they’re still hungry and Ian was a good example of that,” Dillon said. “I expect the same thing out of Noah. He’ll go back, he’ll train and he’ll come back even hungrier next year.”
On Collier and Moore, Dillon added, “They’re both never satisfied and always want more. Those are the types of guys we need not only in wrestling but in our society. You hear all of the talk about this generation being lazy but I don’t think that’s true. I think we still have some great leaders coming through and those are two examples of them.
“I’m proud of every one of these guys.”
Stoddard, Arnold, Collier, Moore, Halsey and Simmons were each named SEWAC All-Conference wrestlers.
For their efforts, Stoddard was also named the SEWAC Wrestler of the Year and Dillon was named Coach of the Year.


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