Centauri senior Micah Keys, shown here in their dual against Alamosa, went 5-0 over the weekend, all were pins, to capture the 160-pound title at the Rocky Welton Invitational championship this past weekend in Garden City, Kan.
Courier Photo by Eric R. Flores
Courier Sports Editor
GARDEN CITY, Kan.— The No. 1 ranked team in Class 3A, the Centauri Falcons and the No. 6 ranked Monte Vista Pirates made a long road trip east for the Rocky Welton Invitational in Garden City, Kansas last weekend.
The Falcons, who were led by No. 1 ranked Micah Keys, led the two San Luis Valley teams in the team standings. As a team, they finished in ninth place with 96 points. The Monte Vista Pirates finished 23rd in the 29-team tournament with 52 points.
Ark City (Kan.) easily won the team title with 200 points while Piedra Vista, last weekend’s Alamosa Invitational champions, finished in second with 152 points. Newton (Kan.) finished in third with 142 1/2 points while Garden City (Kan.) took fourth with 141 points. Cleveland (Kan.) rounded out the top five teams with 137 1/2.
Patrick Esparsen, who is sitting at 15-11 in overall match totals, scored seven team points at 106 pounds. He won his first match pretty easily with a 29 second pin over Randall’s (Kan.) Jonathan Sotelo before Piedra Vista’s (N.M.) Lawrance Sandoval defeated him with a 15-3 major decision.
Esparsen won his first consolation match with a 2:19 pin over Newton (Kan.) grappler Trevor Pryor. St. James’ (Kan.) Stephen Tujague nabbed an 8-1 decision to eliminate Esparsen.
Dylan Ross, who received two byes, went 0-2 with a pin in 1:56 in the championship side of the 113-pound bracket before he lost an 8-1 decision in the consolation round.
Angelo Martinez scored nine points for the Falcons at 120 pounds. Martinez was pinned in the opening round (1:35) before he came back with two pins of his own in the consolation bracket to move to Round 4. In that round, James Jurgens of Scott City (Kan.) nabbed a pin in 1:00.
Ethan Coombs became the Falcon’s first placer of the tournament with a fifth place finish at 126 pounds. He scored 17 team points by improving his overall season match record to 23-9.
Coombs opened up with a pin in the final seconds of his match (5:56) over Liberal’s (Kan.) Greg McClurg. He went on and pinned Eagle Crest’s Andrew George in 3:35 and got a 4-3 deicison over Ark City’s Dalton Dietrich.
He lost a 6-1 decision in the semifinals and moved down to the consolation bracket where he lost an opportunity to wrestle for third place by a count of 5-2. He received an injury default win in the fifth place match to earn six points.
Christopher Martin scored three team points with a major decision in the opening round of the 132-pound championship before he was defeated two straight times.
Shane Wilson scored six points by pinning Randall’s Parker Martinez in 1:44 to open up the tournament. He then won a 4-2 decision to advance to the quarterfinals where he was defeated by a technical fall. He was immediately pinned in Round 4 of the Consolation bracket.
James Richardson scored a single point with a 7-3 decision in the consolation round.
Senior Micah Keys, carried the Falcons by scoring 34 points. He improved his season match record to 26-2 as he nabbed five pins to capture the 160-pound title.
Keys pinned Clay Drylie of Hays (Kan.) in 2:46 to open the tournament before pinning Tate Hettinger of Maize (Kan.) in 2:05. In the quarterfinal match, Keys pinned Bryce Hofmeister of Great Bend (Kan.) in 2:53. He then pinned Garden City’s Zac Finch in 1:53. He made a huge impression on the Kansas wrestling scene by pinning their No. 1 ranked wrestler in Class 5A in 1:07.
The pin came over Noel Torres of Emporia (Kan.), who entered the match with a 28-3 overall match record.
Jensen Hamilton scored seven points at 170 pounds by winning two consolation round matches.
No. 2 ranked Jareb Aziz scored nine team points by pinning Liberal’s Shawn Lay in 5:38 before he was defeated in a 6-3 decision in the quarterfinals.
Aziz won his first consolation match with an 8-3 decision before he was defeated by St. James’ (Kan.) Andy Muehlberger.
Tylen Pavlovsky received two byes and was defeated twice at 195 pounds while RJ Ruybal scored three team points at 220 pounds.
The three points came on the hands of a pin in 2:01.
Devon Chacon was winless in the tournament at 285 pounds.
For the Pirates, No. 3 ranked Diondre Garcia scored 18 team points and was their only placer in the entire tournament as he took third place.
Garcia, who is now 33-4 this season in all matches, won his first match of the night with a pin over Trevor Pryor of Newton (Kan.) in 1:56.
In the quarterfinal round Garcia pinned Landon Wood of Maize (Kan.) in 3:23 before he suffered a pin to Garden City’s Michael Prieto of Garden City (Kan.) in 4:00 in the semifinal match.
Garcia defeated St. James (Kan.) wrestler Stephen Tujague with a 4-2 decision to advance to the third place match where he defeated Lawrance Sandoval of Piedra Vista (N.M.) with a 6-0 decision.
At 113 pounds, Jose Duran scored 9 1/2 team points as he won his first match in the second round, he received a bye in the first round. In that match, Duran nabbed a 17-2 technical fall over Arturo Sanchez of Great Bend (Kan.).
Duran was defeated in the quarterfinal match by Jaysen Yakobson of Bear Creek. Yakobson pinned Duran in 1:45. In the consolation side of the bracket, Duran went 1-1. He nabbed a 19-5 major decision over Austin Batteron on Baca County. His final match of the tournament was a 12-0 major decision loss to Hunter Furnish of Andale (Kan.). Duran now has a 29-12 match record.
Gavin Burk, who fell to 7-9 on the season, went 0-2 in matches at 120 pounds. He lost his first match against former Del Norte standout Jacob Palmgren, who is now at Piedra Vista (N.M.). Palmgren pinned Burk in 1:31 before Burk was pinned by Jeremy Christiansen of Newton (Kan.) in his consolation match in 2:25.
Cody Cowan nabbed six team points for the Pirates at 126 pounds as he went 2-2 in the tournament to improve his season match record to 27-10.
Cowan opened the tournament with a 19-2 technical fall over Louis Soliz of Piedra Vista before he was forced into the consolation round by Dalton Dietrich of Ark City (Kan.) because of a 9-0 major decision victory.
In the consolations, Cowan opened up with a 16-0 technical fall over Canon City’s Richard Garcia before Eagle Crest’s (Kan.) Andrew George pinned Cowan in 4:52.
Daniel Borunda nabbed an 11-2 major decision in the opening round of the tournament at 126 pounds before he was defeated by Liberal’s (Kan.) Cody Smith, 7-1. In the consolation round, Borunda defeated Bear Creek’s Dominic Dincola, 8-3 before being eliminated by Newton’s Earnest Johns. Johns nabbed a narrow 3-2 decision.
Borunda scored four team points and improved his season match record to 16-17.
At 138 pounds, Jeffrey Cooper added six team points en route to moving his season record to 5-4. After an opening-round bye, Cooper was immediately defeated by Garden City’s AJ Hurtado. Hurtado nabbed a 10-0 major decision.
In consolations, Cooper won the first two matches both by falls. The first fall, which only took 47 seconds, came over Zack Schridde of Great Bend (Kan.) while his second pin, which was even faster at 32 seconds, came over Eagle Crest’s Devante Deschwanden. He was eliminated from the tournament with a fall in 2:56 on the hands of Baca County’s Clay Seemann.
Dillon Martinez went 0-2 in the tournament and is now 3-14 on the season as he was pinned by Dodge City’s (Kan.) Jhett Ostrom in 1:56 before he was pinned by Ulysses’ (Kan.) Bryce Rodriguez in 1:29.
Garrett Pacheco, who improved his season match record to 22-15 and scored 8 1/2 team points for the Pirates, won his first match with a 6-3 decision over La Junta’s Elias Altimarano.
Zack Duwe of Chaparral won their quarterfinal match with a pin in 3:54 forcing Pacheco to the consolation bracket.
Pacheco won the first match with a 19-4 technical fall over Bear Creek’s Matt Schuster before Trenton Wilson of Liberal won by a 5-2 decision.
Matthew Barnes was the Pirate’s final wrestler at 195 pounds and unfortunately lost both of his matches by pins.
The Falcons will be hosting their Centauri Duals Tournament this weekend. The Pirates will be in action on Thursday when they take on No. 3 ranked Alamosa before they participate in the Falcon’s dual tournament.
The two teams will then clash in an Intermountain League dual next Thursday.
A recap of all the other Valley's wrestlers will be in Thursday's edition of the Valley Courier.