SHERIDAN — Many Sheridanites and northeast Wyoming residents know Bryce Meredith; however, the two-time NCAA national runner-up doesn’t know all that much about Sheridan. Meredith recalls wrestling as a high schooler in the northern reaches of Wyoming, but other than that, the former University of Wyoming grappler’s knowledge of the area remains small.
After seeing the Bighorn Mountains over the weekend and meeting some people around town, Meredith would like to change that fact.
“I’m kind of getting to the age where I start to look at things with a grateful eye and coming to these places and really realizing how beautiful the rest of the state is,” Meredith said. “… When you’re a kid, you just kind of go places and you don’t really understand the beauty of it. Now that I’ve gotten older and experienced so much in life, Wyoming is a special place, and I love coming up north.”
The Bryce Meredith and Lane Academy of Wrestling Summer Mini Camp took place at Sheridan High School Saturday and Sunday. Meredith taught kids of all ages about technique, different moves and how to improve in the sport of wrestling.
Former Sheridan Bronc and current UW wrestler Hayden Hastings assisted Meredith in demonstrating moves and answering questions any campers had.
Meredith closed the camp signing autographs and taking photos. He also read a letter to wrestling he wrote for the NCAA Championships in March. The letter detailed what the sport of wrestling means to the Cheyenne Central product and what it can do for anyone who gives it a chance.
“I always try to share a little bit with them and get their wheels turning a little bit,” Meredith said. “Wrestling takes more than just being good. It takes more than just working hard. You have to really enjoy it and really put yourself in the grind and learn how to love how to be uncomfortable.
“Try to be comfortable while being uncomfortable.”
Meredith’s career captivated the entire state of Wyoming. From his improbable run as a No. 14 seed as a sophomore to his heartbreaking runner-up finish as a senior, Meredith will stand as a well-known face in Wyoming for years to come.
And Meredith wants his notoriety to resonate with young kids. He wants wrestlers from towns such as Sheridan or Gillette or Upton to realize they too can reach extreme heights in the sport that gave so much to him.
“I may teach you nothing in this camp, but I can teach you that it is possible to be successful out of Wyoming,” Meredith said. “I have to be able to plant that seed and allow them to blossom out of this state.”
While Meredith didn’t influence Hastings as a young up and comer, the former Bronc aspires to reach similar heights as his former Cowboys teammate.
“It’s a good preview of what I could be doing,” Hastings said. “It’s a little extra motivation of the stardom that I could have if I keep doing what I’m doing.”
Hastings redshirted this past season for UW, but his run to a trio of state titles as a Wyoming high school wrestler, and his commitment to the Pokes, has already given him a fan base similar to Meredith’s.
“I came to this camp to get better and help with my wrestling,” said Nathan Baker of Upton. “I also came to meet Bryce and Hayden.”
Meredith will continue hosting camps all over the state in the coming months where he’ll look to find similar beauty to that of which he found in Sheridan this past weekend.