Hayden wrestlers split home triangular against Glenwood, Meeker
Tigers fall to Demons, beat Cowboys
Hayden — The Hayden High School wrestling team split a home triangular Saturday, the Tigers struggling against Glenwood Springs before handling Meeker.
Hayden lost to Glenwood, 54-18, and beat Meeker, 44-21.
Even in the squad’s low points, the Tigers hoped to have found important lessons as the regional tournament approaches.
For Hayden senior Cory Terry, Saturday’s lesson was that anything is possible.
Terry was a standout wrestler in middle school but felt burnt out and dropped the sport before high school. He didn’t pick it back up until this winter. Now he’s trying to gain years of wrestling experience in three months to try to achieve goals usually eyed only by the most grizzled veterans of the sport.
“I’m doing pretty good, for the most part,” Terry said. “I want to go to state and at least place fourth.”
On Saturday, at 125 pounds, he was making progress. He won his one match, catching Glenwood’s Mike Mills in a headlock and grinding him into the ground to earn a pin.
“I was a lot better than I am now. I kind of wonder what would have happened if I had kept on going,” Terry said about his decision to stop wrestling years ago. “Now I just have to keep practicing hard and do things right.”
The state semifinals are familiar ground for Terry’s younger brother, Hayden junior Chad Terry, who has earned two trips that deep in the tournament. Cory credited those runs as inspiration in his comeback attempt.
Despite his success, Chad picked up a lesson Saturday, as well, learning even when winning a match, a loss can be one mistake away. He was disqualified for slamming Glenwood’s Alan Bencomo to the ground.
“It’s a lesson well learned. He needed to learn that,” Hayden assistant coach Chad Jones said about Chad Terry, who has just returned to the mat after missing time with an injured shoulder. “He learned it’s hard to return a guy (to the mat) using just one arm.”
Senior Treyben Letlow might not have been on the mat long enough to soak up any new information. The Hayden fans got yet another lesson in the senior 215-pounder’s dominance, however. In two matches, he spent less than one combined period actually wrestling, pinning his first opponent, Glenwood’s Luis Perez, in 27 seconds. He beat Collin Cochran, of Meeker, in 79 seconds.
Hayden also picked up tough wins from freshmen Journey Vreeman and Kaiden Decker. Vreeman, at 119 pounds, continued to take advantage of a hole in the lineup created when 2010 state finalist T-Lane Mazzola sustained a shoulder injury earlier this season.
Mazzola is scheduled to be back in action soon, but Vreeman added two big wins to his resume in what may have been one of his final chances this season. He pinned Glenwood senior Victor Mondragon and then beat Meeker freshman Aarron Cochran, 7-1.
Decker, meanwhile, bounced back from two losses against Glenwood, one a pin against the Demons’ 103-pounder, Miguel Vega, and another in an exhibition match against 112-pound Hector Chagoya. Decker pounced in Meeker’s 103-pound freshman Kelly Denny right from the start of the match, earning a pin 41 seconds later. Only Letlow was more efficient in victory Saturday.
Senior Scott Armbruster also took out some frustration against Meeker, beating Willis Begaye, 20-6.
The regional wrestling tournament looms Feb. 11 and 12 in Palisade, and it’s that event, which holds tickets to the state tournament in Denver the next weekend for the top four wrestlers in each weight class, that the Tigers are beginning to focus on. Only a triangular against Steamboat and Soroco on Thursday and an event Saturday at Eaton remain.
“I feel I’ll make state again this year and do pretty good,” Armbruster said. “I need to work on my conditioning and putting moves together, doing three or four at a time. I’m getting a little nervous, but that always plays a factor. I’m just hoping to do better this year.”
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