4 golds, 4 silvers push Hayden wrestlers to Soroco Invite victory
Oak Creek — The 2014 Soroco Wrestling Invitational didn’t draw as large of a pool as it has in previous years, but that didn’t stop the Hayden Tigers from cleaning up the competition en route to their tournament victory Saturday.
The Tigers picked up four golds and four silvers and won handily against second-place Saratoga, 104 points to 72. Battle Mountain was third with 43 points, Buena Vista was fourth with 36 points, and Soroco’s three wrestlers scrapped their way to fifth with 30 points.
Hayden freshman Garrett Murphy scored a rebound victory against the Rams’ Shad Covalt at 106 pounds, who defeated Murphy in last weekend’s Granby tournament. Murphy made quick work of his opponent — who battled an illness all week — with a finals pin at 1:41.
“He jumped out to me,” Hayden coach Chad Jones said about Murphy. “Shad Covalt beat him last week at Granby, he took first up there. Murphy had it in his head he could beat him. He stayed focused on his ability and went for it.”
At 120 pounds, Hayden’s Judd Magee scored another first-place finish, pinning Battle Mountain’s Mario DeLara in the finals. The Tigers’ pair of burly wrestlers in Taylor Lewis (220 pounds) and Hunter Rummel (285 pounds) each took their finals, as well, Lewis by pin and Rummel by decision against Hayden stand-out freshman Lebo Armendarez.
At 132 pounds, Hayden’s Tanner Guire had one of the more thrilling, if not controversial, final matches. He ultimately lost in a 9-7 decision to Saratoga’s Bradley Bifano despite coach Jones’ plea for officials to call some missed points late in the contest.
Likewise, Hayden senior Kent Miller pinned his way to the finals before falling to Saratoga’s Thatcher Spiering in what also was a tight match to the finish.
The Tigers’ Christian Carson had a solid bracket at 195 pounds, pinning his first two opponents before falling to weight-class champion Scott Smith, of West Grand, in the third round. Carson bounced back to edge Buena Vista’s Ernesto Venegas in his final match, taking second overall.
“For a tune-up tournament, we did well,” Jones said. “We wrestled tough. The kids made a few mistakes but overall I think we wrestled pretty good on our feet. We were aggressive. I’m proud of them for that. They were attacking on top.”
For host Soroco, Lane Martindale — a 106-pounder a season ago — opened his 132-pound bracket with a pair of pins, but he ran into Tanner Guire in a third-round loss. Martindale lost his next match but finished Round 5 with a tight pin against Buena Vista’s Daniel Haeslly.
Dalton Ray struggled a bit the day after showing well in a Friday exhibition triangular with Hayden and Saratoga. Ray won this first match but lost his next three.
Rams coach Jay Whaley was a bit disappointed by the smaller tournament but praised the competition that did sign up.
“It was small. It’s unfortunate we don’t have many wrestlers,” Whaley said. “I don’t think it lacked quality, though. There were some good matches there at the end. I saw great things out of my guys and I was disappointed at times, too.”
Both Soroco and Hayden will be at next Saturday’s West Grand Tournament before taking a lengthy holiday break with more competitions coming in January, gearing up for February’s state tournament.
“Overall, you could see by the kids’ placement points that they did excellent,” Jones said. “We’re just going to stay scrappy and keep pushing our cardio.”
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