State Championship wrestling comes to a close

Centauri’s Remi Lucero finds the Centauri crowd after pinning Peyton Froman of Rocky Ford in 2:41 to claim the 285 pound 2A State Title. (VC/Jiron)

Lucero earns state championship at 285 pounds

DENVER — Hard work culminates in a three-day whirlwind at the Pepsi Center in Denver and before you know it, it has come and gone. On the final day of tournament competition, podium positions were shored up and champions were named.

In the 3A class, Alamosa placed plenty of competitors on the podium as they do every year. Despite that, the Moose could not earn their third state title in a row and would settle for the No. 5 spot garnering 91 points as a team. The team first-place finish was awarded to both Eaton and Valley in an odd turn of events that resulted in both teams tying at 105.5 points. At 106 pounds, freshman Kyler Liddell finished in 6th place, suffering a defeat by fall in the 5th place match to Javan Valdez. Older brother Colton Liddell also made it to the championship day morning session. Senior Liddell would also meet a Valley opponent besting Noah Damian by a 4-0 decision in the 132-pound class. Alamosa’s Hunter Smith would also take part in the morning session at the 170-pound class. A win in the consolation semifinals advanced Smith to the third-place match, unfortunately, Smith fell there and took fourth in the tournament. Suffering a loss in the championship quarterfinals, Alamosa’s 195 pounder, Austin Trujillo, turned it around ripping off three straight wins in the consolation bracket to qualify for the third-place match. There, Mitchell Peabody of La Junta would earn a fall at 2:08 to place Trujillo fourth in his weight.

The lone wrestler in 3A to make it to the championship session was Alamosa’s Davion Chavez at 113 pounds.

Chavez would take on defending champion Angelo Lozado of Jefferson in a 1v2 matchup where the Alamosa’s Chavez was favored. Lozado earned a takedown in the first period giving him a 2-point lead that carried to the first choice, where Chavez chose the down position. When Lozado elected not to cover Chavez was awarded an escape point and it was a one-point match through the second period thanks to Lozado locking down any offensive attempts from the challenger. In the third period, Lozado scored with another takedown and would manage 2 near fall points out of it to earn his second state title in a row with a 6-1 decision. The silver is Chavez’s second of his high school career after taking state at 106 pounds in his freshman year.

In the 2A Class, it was Centauri and Del Norte advancing to Saturday competition. As teams, Centauri finished in fifth place with a score of 91. Del Norte took 33rd with 10 team points. First place was claimed by Wray with 162.5 team points. Del Norte and Centauri would get five wrestlers to the podium in the 2A class.

In the morning session, Del Norte’s Malachi Gallegos would start his day with an 8-4 decision over Mario Vigil of Centauri. In the consolation semifinals, Gallegos would tweak his knee and later relent an 8-2 decision to Trae Kennedy of Meeker in the fifth-place match to take sixth in the tournament at 106 pounds.

At 132 pounds Eyan Chavez was upset the day before by Lain Yapoujian who went on to take state. In the morning session, Chavez made good on his opportunity and marched through the consolation bracket eventually besting Lucas Hefner of Highland with a 4-0 decision in the third-place match. Jordan Martin also took third for Centauri, doing it at the 145-pound weight. A tough 3-1 tie-breaker loss in the championship quarterfinals sent Martin to the consolation bracket. There, Martin went undefeated capping his weekend with a victory over Michael Gutierrez of Burlington to take third-place. Centauri’s Byron Shawcroft went 2-2 in the morning session. A loss in the fifth-place match granted sixth place for the 170-pounder.

The lone San Luis Valley wrestler to make it to the champion session was Centauri’s Remi Lucero in the heavyweight class. In the championship match, Lucero met a familiar face in Rocky Ford’s Peyton Froman. The first meeting was a 4-1 match in favor of Lucero. The second meeting looked like it might have some length to it until Lucero took all the momentum and forced a pin at 2:41. The win marks Lucero’s first state title. For a complete listing of team results and individual brackets be sure to visit CHSAANow.com

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