Steamboat, Hayden wrestlers set for big stage at state | SteamboatToday.com
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Steamboat, Hayden wrestlers set for big stage at state

Hayden senior Taylor Lewis set himself up well for a shot at another state medal at the 2A championships. He's one of eight wrestlers between Steamboat Springs and Hayden that will take to Denver's Pepsi Center for state starting Thursday afternoon.
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2A/3A State wrestling championship schedule

Thursday

■ Weigh-ins: 11:30 a.m.

■ Prelim matches: 3 to 6:15 p.m.

Friday

■ Weigh-ins: 7 a.m.

■ Championship quarterfinals: 10 a.m.

■ First-round consolation: immediately following championship quarterfinals

■ Second-round consolation: 5:45 to 7 p.m.

■ Semifinals: 7:15 p.m.

Saturday

■ Weigh-ins: 8 a.m.

■ Third-round consolation: 10:30 a.m.

■ Semifinal consolation: immediately following third-round consolation

■ Fifth-place match: 2 p.m.

■ Third-place match: immediately following fifth-place match

■ Parade of Champions: 6:30 p.m.

— The lights are certainly brighter, the competitors are more anxious, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

2A/3A State wrestling championship schedule

Thursday

■ Weigh-ins: 11:30 a.m.



■ Prelim matches: 3 to 6:15 p.m.

Friday



■ Weigh-ins: 7 a.m.

■ Championship quarterfinals: 10 a.m.

■ First-round consolation: immediately following championship quarterfinals

■ Second-round consolation: 5:45 to 7 p.m.

■ Semifinals: 7:15 p.m.

Saturday

■ Weigh-ins: 8 a.m.

■ Third-round consolation: 10:30 a.m.

■ Semifinal consolation: immediately following third-round consolation

■ Fifth-place match: 2 p.m.

■ Third-place match: immediately following fifth-place match

■ Parade of Champions: 6:30 p.m.

State championship wrestling begins Thursday afternoon at Denver’s Pepsi Center — an arena that gets a makeover complete with 10 mats overtaken by nearly 900 athletes vying for the chance to simply live another round of the three-day, season-ending tournament.

“They’ve earned this chance to take it to the big show,” Steamboat Springs coach Travis Bryant said about his wrestlers who will compete in the Class 3A brackets.

The Sailors trio is made up of Colton Pasternak at 106 pounds, Dakota Thvedt at 120 pounds and Matthew Hansen at 145 pounds, all sophomores. Thvedt is the lone state qualifier from a year ago after competing at the Pepsi Center at 113 pounds and being bounced early after an 0-2 session.

“I’m super excited for this year,” Thvedt said. “I went in there not really knowing what to expect (last year).”

Pasternak will be the first Steamboat wrestler to take to the mats, facing off against Sheridan’s Presiliano Maez, who compiled a stellar 39-2 record and won the 3A Region 3 106-pound bracket.

Thvedt is next and will open with Brush’s Macky Sandoval. Sandoval is 25-8 and finished with a silver medal at the 3A Region 1 tournament last weekend.

Hansen set himself up well for his opening-round match with Elizabeth’s Rob Leonard. Hansen took third at 145 pounds at his regional, while Leonard was second with a 1-1 record at the 3A Region 2 tourney.

Bryant said he’s hoping Pasternak, Thvedt and Hansen take the reins and set the bar high for current and future Sailors.

“By the time these guys are seniors, they’ll have laid out a name for themselves and Steamboat as a wrestling program,” Bryant said.

Hayden’s 5 set to battle in 2A brackets

Hayden wrestling coach Chad Jones knows there will be nerves.

Some of his Tigers have been here, on the raucous Pepsi Center floor, competing for a state medal. Some of them haven’t. Understandably, all of them will be a little anxious.

“Experience definitely gives them a bit of calmness and less nerves,” Jones said after last weekend’s 2A Region 1 tournament. “They will have a little nerves anyway.”

Taylor Lewis (182 pounds) and Kent Miller (152 pounds) qualified for state last year, and Lewis came back to Hayden with a fourth-place medal. Devlyn Mossman (120 pounds), Tate Montieth (132 pounds) and Christian Carson (195 pounds) are making their state tournament debuts.

Mossman — a Moffat County transfer — will take on Akron’s Reid Palser (32-5) to open his bracket. Palser is the Region 3 120-pound champion.

Montieth has a similar task in Highland’s Jake Trujillo. Also a Region 3 champ at 132 pounds, Trujillo pinned Montieth at the Highland Duals Jan. 17.

Miller opens with Tyler Hottinger out of Akron, who compiled a 31-9 record this winter. Hottinger was Region 3’s 152-pound silver medalist.

Lewis was rewarded for his big season with a high seeding at 182 pounds. He’ll first battle with Merino’s Zahaylon Buckner, a 9-11 sophomore. A win there will draw either Julian Drew (22-13) of Calhan or George Weatherford (21-12) of Center.

If Lewis can pull off two wins, he’ll likely set up a semifinal match with No. 1 seed Keegan Wentz (32-1) of Buena Vista.

Carson is in an interesting position to open state with Highland’s Tony Lucero, a sophomore he lost to in an 8-6 decision at the Highland Duals last month. If Carson wins, he’ll likely face No. 1 seed Jareb Aziz, Centauri’s undefeated senior.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll


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