Sailor wrestler Mader misses finals, Slowey still fighting at state |

Sailor wrestler Mader misses finals, Slowey still fighting at state

Steamboat Springs High School senior Spencer Mader wrestles Colton Williams out of Berthoud in the 132-pound quarterfinals at the CHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Pepsi Center on Friday, Feb. 21.
Shelby Reardon

DENVER — Steamboat Springs senior Spencer Mader nearly made the finals.

In his first-ever appearance at the CHSAA State Wrestling Tournament, the Sailor fell 8-5, dashing his hopes at a title.

In the 132-pound semifinal against Zane Rankin of Lamar, Mader used a second-period take down to make it 3-2. With a stalling warning against Rankin, it looked like Mader had the momentum going into the third.

The Lamar grappler started the final period on top though, earning a near fall to pull ahead from the Sailor.

Mader’s quarterfinal was a close bout against Colton Williams of Berthoud. Williams earned the opening takedown in the first period, and an escape from Mader to start the second made it 2-1. The pair started the third in the neutral position, each seeking a takedown.

For a minute, the pair stared each other down, looking for an opportunity. Mader found one first. He got Williams on the mat and held tight, keeping his body on top of the Berthoud grappler, refusing to let him escape. 

“Pretty much, I was just tiring him out,” said Mader. “I knew he was getting tired and I still saved my energy. I was keeping good energy throughout the whole match. Then, it’s go time at the end.”

With the final whistle, Mader’s entire family, including his mother, father and older brothers, slammed their hands against the boards, pumped their fists and clapped. 

“It’s confidence. It’s all confidence,” said Steamboat head coach Jordan Bonifas. 

Senior John Slowey lost his first fight on Thursday, putting him in the consolation bracket. On Friday, Slowey came out ready to strike first. To start the second, Chad Gomez escaped Slowey’s hold, but the Sailor brought him back down 30 seconds later. Going into the third, Slowey had a 4-2 lead. Gomez was still in it. 

Steamboat senior John Slowey smiles after his win during the consolation round of the CHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Pepsi Center on Friday, Feb. 21.
Shelby Reardon

Slowey elected to start the third on the bottom. He nearly broke Gomez’ grip, but the pair were ruled out of bounds. They went back to the center and started again. Once again, Gomez got his hand on Slowey’s ankle, but the Sailor got free and took down Gomez. A near fall with 17 seconds left put away the 10-3 decision. 

“If we don’t shoot, you can’t score,” said Bonifas. “We wrestled a little flat yesterday. Today, you know, it’s your senior year, you got to go out there and score points.”

His next match determined whether he would wrestle for a place Saturday. He developed a 6-3 lead over Enoc Macias-Castilo, but the Arvada wrestler used a late escape and take down in the second to tie the match at 6. 

The referee ruled the two out of bounds, moving them to the center with Slowey in the down position. Almost effortlessly, Slowey escaped and went up 7-6 with 20 seconds left.

132: Quarterfinal: Spencer Mader, SS, dec. Colton Williams, Berthoud, 3-2. 
195: Cons. 1: John Slowey, SS, dec. Chad Gomez, University, 10-3. Cons. 2: Slowey, SS, dec. Enoc Macias-Castilo, Arvada, 7-6.

To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.

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