Tiger in top spot
Bruchez unstoppable at Steamboat Invitational
Steamboat Springs — Hayden’s Kelly Bruchez’s first three matches of the season ended in two pins and one technical decision as he proved unstoppable Saturday on his way to a first- place finish at the 152-pound weight class in the Steamboat Invitational.
Although six area wrestlers broke into the top four of the 16-team tournament, only Bruchez stood at the top of the podium Saturday night.
After losing to Dakota Ridge’s Ian Cadoma in the quarterfinals of last year’s Steamboat Invitational, Bruchez turned the tables by pinning Cadoma at the 1:34 mark in the third period.
Although Cadoma got the first two points of the match on a reversal, Bruchez tallied up seven points of his own before turning Cadoma over for the pin in the final period.
“(Cadoma) was a tough kid. He beat me last year in the quarterfinals,” Bruchez said. “I feel really great (about the wins). I’ve been working hard.”
The hard work paid off as it took just two periods before Bruchez ran-up a 20-4 score against Elias Aukec from Ralston Valley to earn a technical win and a berth in the championship round where he met Cadoma.
For the Sailors, it was senior Wes Adams who had the best finish for the team with a second place. In the 171-pound championship round, Adams was trailing 7-6 in the middle of the third period when he was caught on his back and pinned by Ryan Torsell of Rangely.
Torsell got on the board first with a take- down, but Adams finished the first period with an escape to put things at 2-1. In the second period, Adams gets a two-point take-down and one escape point, but Torsell tacked on three points of his own.
In the third period, Adams rolled Torsell over for two points and a 6-4 lead before Torsell put in a reversal and got the pin with 54 seconds left in the match.
Before facing Torsell, Adams came from behind a 5-1 deficit in the first period to win 13-6 against Hayden’s Kevin Miller. In the first period, Miller came out strong with a take down and near fall to run up five points.
But, Adams fought back in the second period bringing the score to 7-6 on near falls. Adams stayed in control for the rest of the match as he worked his way to a 13-6 win and into the championship bracket.
“Basically, I was just rusty. It was my first tournament” Adams said of the first period showing against Miller. “But, I was able to turn things around.”
Miller continued on to the constellation round where he was given a forfeit over Elizabeth’s Chris Roberts in the match to determine the wrestlers for the third and fourth place wrestle off. In the final consolation round, Miller forfeited himself because of sickness and finished the night with a fourth place.
Hayden coach John Svoboda said Miller was one of a handful of his wrestlers to suffer from bronchitis this weekend, which was costly for the second and third periods.
“We were concerned about it. He turned purple during the match. I think the bronchitis kicked in. But, that’s not taking away anything from Steamboat,” Svoboda said.
After dropping the first match of the tournament, Sailor heavyweight Will Zimmer did not lose again as he finished the day with two pins including one in the final round. It took just until 1:11 mark in the second period before Zimmer got the fall from Dakota Ridge’s Mike Burch, who had beaten Zimmer in the first round of matches Saturday.
“I kept asking my guys to give an extra 10 percent for every match,” Sailors coach Jay Muhme said. “And, they gave it to me. I wasn’t disappointed.”
Hayden had two other top four finishers. At 112-pounds, Troy Kochenower worked his way to the championship round undefeated before being pinned by Fort Morgan’s Wade Worthly. Hayden’s Riley Whiteman met the same fate when he fell to Dakota Ridge’s J.R. Weber for a fourth place finish.
Fort Morgan beat out Eagle Valley to win the tournament by one point with a score of 183. Hayden was the top area school with a seventh place finish scoring 94.5 team points. The Sailors finished in 12th place with 46.5 points and the Soroco Rams followed with a 13th place with 27.5 points.
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