Western Slope wrestlers make state-wide noise Saturday
Steamboat Springs — Hayden once again shows strong on the mat
Hayden High School wrestling is starting to assert itself as a power both locally and beyond the Western Slope.
A week after taking second place as a team at the Middle Park Tournament in the Tigers’ season opener, Hayden snagged first at the Soroco Invitational in Oak Creek on Saturday.
Dominant performances by Tyler Hockaday in the 113-pound class and Journey Vreeman at 170 pounds helped pave the way for the team win. Hayden’s Kent Miller grappled his way to a first-place finish in the 145-pound finals but was challenged into overtime by Rangely’s Caleb Lawson.
Like the Miller-Lawson showdown, Hayden’s Judd Magee had one of the most exciting finals on Soroco High School’s campus at 106 pounds.
“(Magee was) going for a take down and got it with no time on the clock,” Hayden coach Chad Jones said about Magee’s second-place finish. “The rest of our wins were pretty dominant. Kent Miller worked hard in overtime in the ring to beat his kid.”
The strong showing in Granby at the Middle Park Tournament, which featured some of the state’s premier class 5A wrestlers, may have gotten to Hayden’s head a little bit heading into Saturday, Jones said.
“I think they were a little overconfident coming into this weekend,” Jones said about his squad. “We had to settle in, and we wrestled better in the later rounds.”
Hayden’s Tate Montieth (126 pounds), Tommy Wade (152 pounds) and Garrett Camilletti (160 pounds) all grabbed third in their weight classes.
Next Saturday, the Tigers will head to West Grand to take on the likes of Glenwood Springs, Meeker, Steamboat Springs and Soroco.
Steamboat splits up squad, snags some wins
Part of the Sailors wrestling team took on local wrestlers at the Soroco Invitational, while the other half of Steamboat squared off with some of the more elite wrestlers in the state at the Frank Palmeri Invitational in Wheat Ridge.
At Wheat Ridge, Connor O’Brien took first at 182 pounds, while Brandon Yeager (195 pounds) and Cole Sittig (285 pounds) grabbed a pair of seconds.
Steamboat coach Shane Yeager brought two freshmen to the Front Range, and the pair caught his eye against the stiff competition.
Yeager said Dakota Thvedt lost by one point to a wrestler who placed at the 2012-13 state championships, and fellow freshman Matthew Hansen took fourth at 138 pounds.
“It was all 4A and 5A wrestlers and some regional opponents we don’t see all the time,” Yeager said about the tournament. “It’s tough on this side of the hill.”
Sittig pinned his way to the finals and lost to a 5A wrestler from Montbello. Yeager competed in a round-robin bracket, pinning four of his five opponents but losing in the finals to a state placer from Golden.
In Oak Creek, Steamboat’s Colton Pasternak took third at 106 pounds and Ethan Labriola took down Terell Sandoval of Lake County for second place at 113 pounds. Colton Crawford grabbed third place at 120 pounds, while Tucker Limberg and Aaron Hernandez snagged third and fourth respectively in the heavy weight division.
Rams’ seniors grab pair of second-place finishes
Premier Western Slope competition forced the host Rams into a seventh-place finish as a team, but on the mat, a few Soroco wrestlers showed some resiliency.
At 126 pounds, Colton Martindale was edged out by Battle Mountain’s Jesus Morales in a 5-4 decision. At 195 pounds, Cody Constine pushed his class to the championship match before falling to Buena Vista’s Keean Wentz, 5-2.
Martindale and Constine are Soroco’s returning state qualifiers from a year ago.
“It was a good day,” Soroco coach Jay Whaley said. “It was good competition. We didn’t have a ton of numbers but we were high on quality.”
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Witches and goblins and ghosts, oh my!