Iacovetto, Gates 2 of a kind | SteamboatToday.com

Iacovetto, Gates 2 of a kind

David Pressgrove

Matt Iacovetto and Whit Gates sat side by side catching their breath after their nearly simultaneous matches for third and fourth place.

They have experienced countless numbers of wrestling moments together since Pee Wee wrestling.

On the final day of the Class 2A state wrestling tournament, they shared a mirror image of wins and losses.

“Good wrestlers usually come in twos,” Soroco coach Jay Whalay said. “Those two have been together all the way.”

With Iacovetto and Gates at 140 pounds and 152 pounds, respectively, they were wrestling at almost the same time during all three rounds Saturday. Before and after the matches, they were either watching, congratulating or comforting each other.

Iacovetto had the longer trip into the consolation final match. After losing his first match of the tournament, he fought through the consolation for four wins.

Twice, he narrowly won by one point, and another he won by three.

His Saturday matches started against Meeker’s Nick Ruckman. In the match, he went into the third round up 2-0. Ruckman earned an escape and two near-fall points with 30 seconds left to tie the match. Iacovetto wrestled loose and earned a reversal with 10 seconds remaining to move into the consolation semifinals with a 4-3 win.

His next match against Craig Potthoff of Wiggins was scoreless until the third. Iacovetto escaped and then earned a take down with 1:28 left. That is the way the match ended.

In the third-place match, Jordan Reid and his cradles were too much for Iacovetto. Reid put him in two cradles in the first period and opened up an 8-0 lead. The match ended in a 10-1 advantage for Reid.

“I guess I’m happy with fourth,” said the first-time state placer. “I still think I could have done better.”

Gates also went 2-1 in the consolation bracket, but his wins came a bit easier.

He controlled Paonia’s Tanner Ridgway, 7-1, in his first match and outworked Merino’s Jared Munoz 12-2.

His win against Ridgway set up a rematch of the regional championship match against Nucla’s Wade Garvey. Gates beat Garvey, 5-3, a week ago, but it wasn’t meant to be Saturday.

“I don’t think I was as pumped up going into it,” Gates said.

Garvey dominated the match, winning the bronze, 11-2.

Both Soroco wrestlers went into the tournament with hopes of getting into the title match. While that didn’t happen, they have one more year to share to go for the gold.

They had other things on their minds after their matches.

“It will be nice to have a break,” Iacovetto said. “Let’s go to (Red) Lobster,” Witt said about his dinner preference.

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