7 podium finishes give Sailors wrestling home tourney victory

Ben Ingersoll
Steamboat Springs freshman Hayden Johnson gets Eagle Valley's Justin Morrison in a grave situation during the pair's 152-pound match on Saturday at the Sailors' Carl Ramunno Invitational. Johnson went on to win the weight class and Steamboat won the tournament.
Ben Ingersoll

— Steamboat Springs High School underclassmen wrestlers Hayden Johnson and Matthew Hansen don’t say much, and when they do, they choose not to turn the volume up much past the mute button.

But when they get on the mat, they surge. It’s where they make their noise, and on Saturday in the Sailors’ home tournament — the annual Carl Rammno Invitational — they held their own and created all the noise they wanted.

Johnson, a freshman, and Hansen, a sophomore, were two of four Sailors to grab gold medals at the tournament as Steamboat cruised to a team win in the round robin-style meet with 135.5 points. Colton Pasternak continued his hot streak and won at 106 pounds, and Steamboat’s only senior in Dylan Wallace had a day to remember, pinning both his opponents for gold at 182 pounds.

“It feels good to wrestle here,” Johnson said. “It was a big crowd and it feels great with them all cheering you on.”

Hayden split its team up Saturday, sending its juniors and seniors to Paonia’s Screaming Eagle Invitational and keeping its freshmen and sophomores in Routt County to wrestle the Sailors’ invitational. The Tigers’ youth showed well, too, earning six podium finishes, good enough for second place as a team with 80 points. Middle Park was third with 65 points, Battle Mountain was fourth with 59 points and Rangely was fifth with 51.5 points. Nine schools were present.

Hayden’s Devlyn Mossman won his 120-pound bracket with a pair of pins and one decision. Christian Carson followed up last weekend’s strong performance with a gold medal at 195 pounds after pinning his way through.

Jake Planansky was third at 106 pounds, Garrett Murphy moved up a weight class and was third at 113 pounds and Tyler Hockaday also grabbed bronze at 126 pounds. Hayden’s heavyweight freshman Lebo Armendarez battled his way to third, as well.

“I thought they did excellent,” Tigers coach Chad Jones said. “We lost a couple matches we shouldn’t have, but all in all, it was good.”

Steamboat also had podium placers at 120 pounds from Dakota Thvedt, who shrugged off an opening-round loss to pin his next two opponents for a bronze medal. Colton Crawford fought his way to the 126-pound finals but fell to Battle Mountain’s Jesus Morales, who has just one loss this season.

Miles Buchan scored a pair of exciting wins at 132 pounds before falling in his championship match, settling him for silver.

With Dylan Wallace representing Steamboat’s only graduating senior when the season closes in a little more than a month, Johnson and Hansen said it’s on the current wrestlers’ shoulders to keep competing at a high level and build the program to Class 4A prominence.

“We just need to stay together as a team and not let the numbers get down,” Hansen said. “It’s only going to go up.”

For the Tigers, the season is quickly winding down. On Thursday, they will travel for a triangular meet against Palisade and Meeker, a pair of top-notch programs in their respective classes. The Tigers are taking the weekend off for team building and will compete in a 16-team dual tournament in Wyoming a week later, the final tune up before Class 2A Region 1 competition begins.

Steamboat is set to host a triangular Tuesday against Glenwood Springs and Eagle Valley.

Lewis again shines for Hayden at tough Paonia tournament

Taylor Lewis grabbed his difficult podium spot Saturday at the Screaming Eagle Tournament in Paonia, battling back from a quarterfinals loss to win three straight and take home a bronze medal.

Lewis, a Hayden senior, scored three straight pins capped off by a win against Norwood’s Cody Terrell in the third place match. Judd Magee (113 pounds) had three straight wins himself but lost in the third place match and settled for fourth.

The Tigers’ Tate Montieth also had a solid day, taking sixth place at 132 pounds. Kent Miller (152 pounds) and Tommy Wade (160 pounds) each scored wins on the day but didn’t place.

Soroco’s Lane Martindale won two of his four matches at the tournament in the 132-pound bracket, but was bounced from the consolation round by Montieth. Dalton Ray, the Rams’ freshman, grabbed a win but didn’t place at 138 pounds.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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