Muhme makes mat statement |

Muhme makes mat statement

Hayden heavyweight tops county wrestlers over weekend

Melinda Mawdsley

Randy Muhme didn’t wrestle for Hayden last year and was late coming out this season, but the junior heavyweight is proving skill and talent sometimes make up for lack of experience.

Muhme captured first place at the Paonia Tournament on Saturday and won both his matches in Friday’s triangular with Paonia and Antonito. He had one forfeit win during the two-day span. The rest of his wins came via fall.

“He was always in control,” Hayden assistant coach Leif Jacobsen said. “He listens and tries things. He’s really coachable.”

Tigers junior Jake Doolin picked up two wins Friday before finishing second at 140 pounds in Saturday’s tournament.

Hayden senior Jason Rolando and Soroco junior Whittier Gates took second at 215 and 152 pounds, respectively.

Rolando fell to Norwood’s Brian Alexander, a 2003 state qualifier, in the finals. Gates fell in the finals to a wrestler he beat earlier this season, Rams coach Doug Gates said.

Whittier Gates wrestled at 160 pounds before the holiday break, but the two-pound leniency wrestlers get post-Christmas may help Gates’ decision to drop down to 152 for the remainder of the year.

“We are just going to go with whatever his weight does,” Doug Gates said. “Both weights are awfully tough.”

While Whittier Gates placed higher than any Rams wrestler during the weekend, junior Matt Iacovetto is wrestling better than anyone in the room, Doug Gates said.

Iacovetto picked up a fourth-place finish at the Paonia Tournament at 140 pounds, but both Iacovetto’s losses easily could have been wins. He was up in both but lost late in the third period on mistakes, Gates said.

“If I had to pick a kid that’s wrestling fundamentally really well, it is Matt,” Doug Gates said. “He’s wrestling more sound than any other time throughout high school. Of the matches he’s lost, there has only been one he wasn’t winning.”

Rolando and sophomore Tim Taylor also picked up exhibition wins over the weekend for Hayden.

Hayden and Soroco return to the mats Saturday in the Western Slope League Tournament in Meeker. The host Cowboys are clearly the team to beat, Jacobsen said.

“We need to do well in Meeker,” Jacobsen said. “It will be a good indicator of what we can do at regionals.”

The Steamboat Springs wrestling team also took part in the Eagle Valley Tournament on Saturday.

Seniors Dave Gittleson (135 pounds) and Donald Dillon (140) took fourth for the Sailors. Sophomore Walker Hammond was one match from wrestling for a placement at 152 pounds, coach Jay Muhme said.

The Sailors return to the mats Friday for the Rob Mikel Tournament hosted by Salida. It is a two-day tournament that runs both varsity and junior varsity brackets.

“I’m going to give the younger wrestlers their option of wrestling varsity or JV,” Muhme said. “The whole key is to get them as many matches as they can.”

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