Routt wrestlers state runs stall in semifinals
With the competition getting tougher, wrestlers from Rout County didn’t waver in their matches on Day 2 of the state wrestling tournament.
No wrestlers from Hayden, Soroco or Steamboat will wrestle for a state championship Saturday, but three are guaranteed places in their bracket, while two others are in position to get there Saturday.
Hayden’s Taylor Lewis, Soroco’s Cody Constine and Steamboat’s Brandon Yeager all won their quarterfinal matches Friday in impressive fashion.
Lewis beat Blaine Larson, of Fowler, by securing a pin after a scoreless first period.
“I was basically just feeling him out and seeing what I could on offense,” Lewis said after the match. “So in the second, I chose down because I knew I wanted a point for an escape. When I got that, I knew what to work to score.”
Constine took down Tyler Kimble, of Limon, with precision. He repeatedly ran around Kimble for takedown points and secured a major decision, a 13-5 win.
Yeager started quickly Friday after falling behind in his first-round match Thursday, this time getting the first takedown and going up 4-0 before giving up a reversal. He started the third period on top, however, and held Charlie Wallace, of Falcon, in place through the period to win, 4-2.
All three wrestled Friday night in the semifinals against some of the state’s best. Lewis took on Stratton’s M.C. Griffin (34-1 this season) and scored first with a takedown but couldn’t hold off the No. 1 182-pound wrestler in 2A. Lewis didn’t surrender a pin but couldn’t stop Griffin’s attacks, falling, 14-4.
Yeager also took on the top seed, Kyle Couch, of Mead (45-1), in the semis. He trailed just 2-0 after the first period but gave up a reversal in the second and only was able to score escape points throughout the match. The senior went down, 8-3.
Finally, Constine wrestled in the semifinals and was near several takedowns before the wrestlers went off the mat and had to restart. In the end, Rocky Ford’s Nate Finnell (39-4) won with an escape and a technical violation point. He scored a takedown as Constine was pressing with seconds to go to make it 4-0.
There will be no state champion for any of the schools, but making the semifinal is a valuable start to any wrestler’s tournament. The three will start out in the consolation bracket semifinals, guaranteeing them a place in their bracket. Two straight losses still would result in a sixth-place finish, the final spot handed out at the tournament.
Some of their teammates will look to get there in this morning’s third-round consolation wrestling. From Hayden, Kent Miller won twice Friday after being pinned quickly in his Thursday match. The 145-pound Tiger picked up a pin in his first consolation match and kept it going by beating Nick Duvall, 5-2, in the second round.
“I just had the mindset of, ‘No 0-2,’” Miller said after winning his first match. “You’ve got to win some. After losing yesterday, I was thinking this could be my last match of the year, might as well go all out.”
That mentality has earned the junior at least one more shot Saturday.
Soroco’s Nate Ragan lost his quarterfinal match after a win Thursday but was able to get a win by fall in the second round of the consolation bracket for heavyweights in 2A. Ragan will wrestle for the consolation semis Saturday.
Others’ tournaments ended Friday. Hayden’s Journey Vreeman got a win in the first round with a pin but lost a tight match, 3-2, after his opponent scored an escape in the third period.
Steamboat’s Dakota Thvedt also was knocked out of the tournament on a close decision, 2-1. The freshman escaped in the third period to go ahead but gave up a late takedown and couldn’t come back.
Hayden’s Hunter Rummel and Steamboat’s Cole Sittig both were pinned in their first consolation matches.
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or email@example.com.
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