LAUREL — Laurel's Kade Wersland looked primed for a climb to the top of the podium after a sixth-place finish at the state wrestling tournament as a freshman.
Wersland, though, didn't place his sophomore year and finished fifth last year, both of which have driven one of the top 152 pounders in Class A.
"That motivates me more and more. It motivated me last year when I was in the blood rounds to get it done because it sucks when you go through a season all year just to lose out at state. It's definitely a big motivation," said Wersland, now a senior.
Wrestling can take a toll both mentally and physically, but those challenges are actually something Wersland embraces.
"I definitely do. One of the things coach (Ted) Hill tells us is embrace the grind. That's one of his sayings. Even when it sucks, embrace the suckage and take it all in because that's what makes us better and tougher and makes us win matches," Wersland said.
While Wersland will look for individual glory, his team will be seeking its first state title since 2011. After a victory at the Class A duals, it could become a reality inside First Interstate Arena in Billings.
"We definitely want to hold ourselves to the standard that we can win it with a good style at it, too. We want to keep that Class A duals trophy, look at it every day and know that we want to do it again and again until we can't anymore," Wersland said.
Wersland and the Locomotives are in Hardin this weekend for the Eastern A divisional tournament.