Rouse earned its first individual state title when Dylan Rowling took home the top spot in the 170-pound weight class at the UIL State Wrestling Tournament at the Berry Center in Houston on Saturday.
The senior was the only one of 15 LISD wrestlers to make the trip. Eight athletes finished in podium positions and the Raiders saw three of their four entrants on the podium. Vandegrift led the way with five total wrestlers at the state tournament.
“I’m proud of the kid and his effort,” Rouse head coach Kevin Carter said. “He deserved what he worked for and earned. For us, we kind of look at Dylan as a kind of stepping stone. He can put us on the map and help us become a program that people fear. We’d like to see more kids like that.”
Vandegrift had the highest team finish of any LISD school, finishing ninth in 6A. Leander finished in 32nd place. Rouse finished in 12th place in 5A, while Cedar Park came in at 47th as a team.
For the girls, Vista Ridge’s Jayda Bordeaux finished in fifth place, winning via major decision in the fifth place match. Rouse’s Alex Elias fought back to finish in sixth in the 128-pound class after losing in the opening round for the second straight tournament.
“She had great survival mechanisms after a disastrous start,” Carter said. “The week before at regionals, she lost her first match and battled back and made the state tournament. Then she does the same thing. She lost the first match and battled back to make the podium.”
Vandegrift’s Adam Wachnin made it to the championship match in the 160-pound weight class before losing a major decision. Riley Jacops lost a close 7-5 decision in the third place match to finish fourth overall at 152 pounds.
Nathan Sloey was the only of three wrestlers representing Cedar Park after a fifth place at 220 pounds. Leander saw its only wrestler at the tournament, Zeke Garcia, take third place thanks to a 3-1 decision in the final.
Aside from Rowling and Elias, Rouse saw senior Noah Martinez take third place in the 120-pound division thanks to a 7-0 win in the third place match on the final day.
“Those two kids going out as seniors on the podium is a huge deal for Rouse and I’m proud of them,” Carter said. “Anytime you win a state title, it takes a lot of people that pitch in. We have a great staff and parents they were part of it.”