Thu Mar 5th, 2015
Special to the Drum
It certainly took some doing for all others to deny Ignacio at least one finalist in the Class 2A State Wrestling Championships, Feb. 19-21 inside Denver’s Pepsi Center.
But the Bobcats still brought home two medals from five different weights and finished tied (with Fowler) for 18th – in other words, the classification’s upper half – in the team table. Which, to the surprise of many, wasn’t topped by powerhouse Paonia; the Eagles finished third with 125.5 points, trailing Meeker (131) and Rocky Ford (134). Double-A newcomers Centauri (109.5) took fourth place home to La Jara, and San Juan Basin League dual-school stronghold Norwood-Nucla (98) filled out the top five.
IHS and FHS each totaled 36.5 points.
Iaasic Pena saw the tournament all the way through to its closing stages, but just not to last Saturday night’s penultimate phase – as always, the goal of all competitors. After a 17-1 technical-fall destruction of Holyoke senior Javier Rojo, his quest for a 152-pound title was cut short by Rye senior Jake Shaffer, 6-4 in overtime.
However with a podium position still in sight, Pena notched two wins on the bracket’s consolation side before being bumped into the 5th/6th-place match by Eads junior Reagan Lane – himself an upset victim after coming in 46-4 – in a 2-0 overtime thriller in which each pushed the other to his limit.
Pena then lost 7-0 to Center junior Salomon Chavez but still capped his career going 34-8 as a senior, and receiving a medal in full view of Day 3’s thousands once all the placings had been contested and determined.
Heavyweight Josh Gallegos also started the event strong, pinning Yuma senior D.J. Snelling 1:13 into the second period in last Thursday’s opening round, and he would also gain revenge against Meeker sophomore Tyler Ilgen – to whom he’d lost in the Region I finale a week earlier in Grand Junction – with a 2-1 win.
But the defeat of the Cowboy came in consolation-round action, and Gallegos would end up with a non-placing 2-2 Mile High City mark, finalizing his senior-year record at 24-7.
Senior Blaine Mickey was immediately demoted to the consolation rounds at 182 pounds after an initial 12-0 major-decision loss to Sedgwick County-Fleming junior Brandon Anderson – who entered 38-3, and who went on to take second – but bounced back to stick Del Norte freshman Dillan Salter in 1:53.
Also recalling Region I, Mickey (15-13) was then eliminated by Hayden senior Taylor Lewis, 7-5 in OT.
One of head coach Cody Haga’s hopes for a return in 2016, sophomore Ethan Appenzeller started with a 10-zip MD over Centauri’s Diego Fernandez, and then battled Baca County senior J.D. Chenoweth for all he was worth before losing 8-7. Chenoweth, fortunate to avoid the upset, later departed with runner-up distinction at 138.
Appenzeller (34-10), meanwhile, recovered to pin Center sophomore Nabor Quintana 22 ticks into the second, but then ran out of steam for good in a 9-2 loss to Holyoke senior Nick Ortner.
Anchor of Ignacio’s underclassmen, sophomore Stocker Robbins was unable to secure a first-place rematch versus Walsenburg John Mall sophomore Jonathan Andreatta, but still managed to stand beside the Panthers’ pride when medals were conferred and all were sheltered from the snowstorm raging outside.
Sent into the consolation rounds after a 4-0 quarterfinals loss to Centauri’s Quinton Montague [Robbins had previously notched a 12-4 MD over Swink’s Lincoln Ferris], IHS’ 113-pounder reeled off three straight victories, including a 3-2 multi-OT thriller over Meeker’s Sheridan Harvey, before falling 3-0 to Burlington senior Logan Durham in the third-place match.
Robbins finished the season 37-4 overall.
106 – Jacob Rodriguez, Rocky Ford; 113 – Jonathan Andreatta, Walsenburg John Mall; 120 – Talon Harris, Norwood-Nucla; 126 – Jesse Reed, Paonia; 132 – Austin Coy, Swink; 138 – Bo Pipher, Paonia; 145 – Ryan Nordyke, Holly; 152 – Bryce McCracken, Ordway Crowley County; 160 – Zach Milner, Paonia; 170 – T.J. Shelton, Meeker; 182 – Keegan Wentz, Buena Vista; 195 – Jareb Aziz, La Jara Centauri; 220 – Nate Finnell, Rocky Ford; Hwt – Jayden Hilferty, Limon.
1.Rocky Ford 134, 2.Meeker 131, 3.Paonia 125.5, 4.La Jara Centauri 109.5, 5.Norwood-Nucla 98, 6.Swink 80.5, 7.Buena Vista 59.5, 8.Ordway Crowley County 54, 9.Hotchkiss 53, 10.Sedwick County-Fleming 52, 11.Limon 51, 12.Merino 47, 13.Holly 46, 14.Walsenburg John Mall 45.5, 15.Baca County 42, 16.Yuma 39, 17.Monte Vista 37, T-18.Fowler & IGNACIO 36.5, 20.Wray 36, 21.Dove Creek 35.5, 22.Ault Highland 32, 23.Center 31.5, 24.Burlington 30, 25.Akron 28, 26.Lyons 26, 27.San Luis Centennial 23, 28.Peyton 22.5, 29.Holyoke 21, T-30.Dolores/Eads/Stratton 20, T-33.Ellicott/Hayden/Walden North Park 16, 36.Rye 14, 37.Kiowa 7, T-38.Cedaredge/Westcliffe Custer County/Del Norte/McClave 6, 42.Wiggins 5, T-43.Calhan & Las Animas 4, T-45.Cheyenne Wells & Rangely 3, T-47.Antonito/Byers/Hanover 0.