Muhme enjoying his final state meet |

Muhme enjoying his final state meet

Culver goes hard in first tourney

Melinda Mawdsley

Senior Randy Muhme is enjoying every moment of the 2005 Colorado State Wrestling Championships. Of course, winning helps.

Through three matches, the Hayden 275-pounder has won two matches and lost one, and no match was bigger than Friday night’s pin of Dolores junior Jon Powell.

After losing his quarterfinal match to Rocky Ford senior Luis Bailon by fall early Friday, Muhme staved off elimination in his evening bout. It was his second win by pin at the state tournament.

“It feels so good to win matches at state,” Muhme said. “I have perma-grin.”

So does his father, Roger Muhme, who couldn’t have screamed any louder during his son’s consolation match.

“I have 22 family members here this year,” Randy Muhme said.

But Muhme revealed a secret that is all too obvious this season. He is competing in the 275-pound weight class, despite losing 42 pounds since last year. He now weighs 230 pounds, which was less than that of either opponent Friday. Powell was at least shorter than Muhme, but Bailon, one of the state’s top seeds in the heavyweight division, was much taller than Muhme and much closer to 275 than he was to 230.

It’s never a good sign when one wrestler — Muhme — reaches down to put his scoring anklet on before the match while the other — Bailon — tosses his aside because he knows it won’t fit around his ankle.

But Muhme gave Bailon a scare early, tying the match at 2-2 with 19 seconds left in the first period off a reversal. Muhme found his base and literally squatted Bailon, picking up the Rocky Ford heavyweight, grabbing his leg and driving him to the mat for two points.

But Bailon escaped early in the second period and got a quick takedown near the end, turning it into a pin with one second remaining.

“I didn’t know there was one second left,” Muhme said. “I thought there was like 20 seconds left. If I would have known there was just one second left, I would have given it everything I got.”

Breathing deeply, Hayden sophomore Robert Culver couldn’t have wrestled harder at this year’s tournament. He was eliminated after two matches, but he didn’t leave anything on the mat in his first trip to the state tournament.

Culver said all he kept hearing about was how big the Pepsi Center was and how many people would be watching him in his first state tournament.

“It wasn’t that intimidating,” he said. “A lot is experience. Just like it is with anything.”

In his first year of varsity wrestling — after taking last year off — experience was the only thing Culver lacked this weekend, but he plans to come back for more.

“I definitely wanted to go to state this year,” he said. “I have to train harder I guess.”

Culver lost to Swink sophomore Chris Reynolds in Thursday’s opening round and lost to Mountain Valley freshman James Fawcett in Friday’s consolation round. Culver was trailing Fawcett, 8-0, through two periods when Tigers coach Ty Zabel told Culver to take the top position in the third period.

It was the right call. Culver put an arm bar on Fawcett, which is a basic move, great for pinning opponents in the right position, but Culver couldn’t get Fawcett to his back. Culver finished the season 24-9 overall.

Today’s third round of consolations begins at 11 a.m. Muhme will face John Mall freshman Bryan Crespin.

Paonia leads the class 2A team race with 131 points, Meeker is second with 96 points, and Nucla is in third with 92 points. The three are in Hayden and Soroco’s region.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail

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