Courier Sports Editor
FOWLER—The Center Vikings had little resistance en route to capturing the Class 2A Regional 2 team championship and qualifying 11 wrestlers to the 2013 Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) State Wrestling Tournament here at Fowler High School on Saturday. The state tournament will take place this Thursday, February 21st, Friday, February 22nd and Saturday, February 23rd at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
In the tournament, the Vikings were more than 45 points ahead of second place, No. 6 ranked Del Norte. The Viking scored 240 points while the Tigers scored 194 1/2 points. The host and No. 7 ranked Fowler Grizzlies finished in third with 184 points. Custer County (108 points) and John Mall (73 points) rounded out the top five.
Antonito (64 points) finished sixth while La Veta (63 points), Rye (60 points), Mountain Valley (52 points), Centennial (26 points) and Sargent (22 points) rounded out the team scores.
Both the Vikings and the Tigers qualified 11 wrestlers to the state meet.
Center advanced Alberto Rodriguez (106 pounds), Mauricio Paez (113 pounds), Jose Chavez (120 pounds), Jeremy Moreno (126 pounds), Gustavo Nungaray (132 pounds), Jeremiah Moreno (138 pounds), DeAngelo Martinez (145 pounds), Christian Espinosa (152 pounds), George Weatherford (160 pounds), Jose Macias (195 pounds) and Luis Mariscal (220 pounds).
Del Norte’s state qualifiers are Brett Fuller (106), Robert Gonzalez (126), Michael Martinez (132), Luke Haefeli (138), Brennan Pacheco (145), Shawn Beiriger (152), Austin McDonald (160), Tharen Smith (170), Jake Jolly (182), Brian Bothell (195) and Shane Shearin (285).
Mountain Valley had five state qualifiers. They are Nick Quintana (145), Shaulin Rinaldis (152), Levi Gallegos (160), Justin Wilson (170) and Cody Mangum (195).
Antonito will have three representatives at the state meet including 113-pounder Scotty Vigil,
126-pounder Noah Trujillo and 132-pounder Teddie Klinger.
Centennial and Sargent wrap up the Valley’s 2A qualifiers with one each. The Rams will be represented in the 182-pound bracket as Jose Cisneros qualified while the Farmers will be represented at 220-pounds as Zack Morgan was their lone qualifier.
These 32 athletes join 32 Class 3A wrestlers from the Valley for a combined 55 wrestlers, two more than last year’s 53 representatives.
The Vikings led the way with four individual champions while Del Norte had three champions.
In the tournament at 106 pounds, Fuller finished third for Del Norte as he defeated Rodriguez of Center with a pin in 49 seconds in the third place match. Centennial’s Bradley Tijerina finished fifth.
At 113 pounds, Vigil finished in second place as Fowler’s Brandon Grasmick electrified the home crowd with a pin in 1:20 to clinch the title. Paez finished third by nabbing a 14-6 major decision over Del Norte’s Makenzie Mondragon. Unfortunately, Crowley County’s Titus Crowford won their wrestleback match with a pin over Mondragon in 2:42 to capture a state spot.
The Valley’s first champion came at 120 pounds when Center’s Jose Chavez pinned Rye’s Wesley Camper in 3:23.
Moreno of Center lost a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to John Vigil of John Mall in the 126-pound title match. Trujillo took third place after pinning Gonzalez of Del Norte. Gonzalez did successfully defend his state spot by pinning Jake Shaffer in 2:32.
Nungaray of Center pinned Martinez of Del Norte for the title at 132 pounds with the fall coming in 4:19. Antonito’s Klinger finished in fourth place.
W.D. Arnold of La Veta pinned Moreno of Center in 1:55 to capture the 138-pound title. Haefeli of Del Norte nabbed a 14-3 major decision from Custer County’s Kody Aldrich for third place.
Pacheco of Del Norte fell victim to Fowler’s Jeremy Burke in the title match at 145-pounds as Burke needed just 14 seconds in the second period to pin him. Center’s Martinez pinned Mountain Valley’s Quintana in 2:57 for third place.
Beiriger, McDonald and Smith of Del Norte won the next three championships at 152 pounds, 160 pounds and 170 pounds. Beiriger got a 13-4 major decision over Custer County’s Wyatt Wommack while McDonald pinned John Mall’s Jacob Pino in 2:51, and Smith pinned Fowler’s Chance Chambers in 1:01.
Center’s Espinosa pinned John Mall’s Adam Serrano-Bobian in 4:02 at 152 pounds. Mountain Valley’s Rinaldis then came back and won a wrestleback match with a pin in 34 seconds to clinch his spot to the state tournament.
At 160 pounds, Weatherford of Center worked to an 8-2 decision over Gallegos of Mountain Valley for third place. Mountain Valley’s Justin Wilson pinned La Veta’s Eric Griego for third place. Griego was able to get a 12-6 wrestleback win over Marco Ledezma of Center, who finished in fifth place after pinning Antonito’s Benjie Trujillo.
At 182 pounds, Fowler’s Luke Holmquist took a 3-1 sudden victory overtime win over Cisneros of Centennial for the championship. Jake Jolly of Del Norte was pinned by Custer County’s Manny Pedigo in 2:53 to take fourth place.
Center’s Macias won the 195-pound title over Blaine Larson of Fowler with a 6-2 decision. Del Norte’s Bothell pinned Mountain Valley’s Mangum in 3:48 for the title. Mangum made quick work of Rye’s Jordon Prater to make sure he made it to state.
Mariscal of Center once again pinned Sargent’s Morgan in 4:51 for the 220-pound title before John Mall’s Lorenzo Trujillo defeated Del Norte’s Shearin by a 3-1 decision at 285 pounds.