02-17-21 Hayden Hastings.jpg

Hayden Hastings, right, points to the crowd after winning the state championship bout at the state wrestling tournament at the Casper Events Center in 2016. The Big 12 conference named University of Wyoming redshirt junior Hayden Hastings its Wrestler of the Week Tuesday.

LARAMIE — The Big 12 conference named University of Wyoming redshirt junior Hayden Hastings its Wrestler of the Week Tuesday. The 2017 Sheridan High School graduate earned the honor after a first-place finish at the Cowboy Challenge Tournament that was held in Stillwater, Oklahoma Sunday.

This is the first time in his Cowboy career that Hastings has been named Wrestler of the Week. Hastings becomes the first Wyoming native to win the award since Cole Verner won it in 2018.

At the Cowboy Challenge Tournament, the 174-pound went 3-0 in the tournament and secured first place with a win over No. 7 Dustin Plott (OSU) in the finals.

Hastings posted back-to-back decision victories to reach the finals, outscoring his opponents 11-5 in his first two matches, before he faced off against Plott in the finals.

Plott struck first in the match scoring the first two takedowns and took an early 4-2 lead over Hastings after the first period. 

The second period opened with a three-point flurry from Hastings, who ended the second period tied 5-5. After an escape from Plott to start the third, Hastings turned up the pressure, took Plott down and locked in the riding time point to secure the 8-7 victory.

It was Hastings first top 10 win of the season as he improved to 11-1 on the season, upping his win streak to six.

Hastings and the rest of the Cowboys will prepare for the postseason as they set their sights on the Big 12 Championship March 6-7.

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