Thu Jan 17th, 2019
Special to the Drum
Wintry weather couldn’t keep 15 different schools and 16 total teams from traveling to Pagosa Springs, Saturday, Jan. 12, for the Rocky Mountain Invitational, and after action on all mats had ceased, Ignacio—competing without senior Dustin Sanchez—stood 11th with 48 total points.
Leading the way for Jordan Larsen’s crew was junior heavyweight Randy Herrera, who earned a team-best third in his division. After a first-round ‘bye,’ Herrera—ranked #9 in On The Mat’s first Class 2A poll of 2019 (Sanchez was #7 at 160)—lost to sophomore Jacobi Lorkett of 4A Silver City, N.M., Silver by pin 1:46 into the third and final two-minute period, but recovered to stick 4A Aztec, N.M., junior Ty Ashley 1:57 into the first and earn his podium position.
Reclassified this winter after winning the NMAA Class 5A State Championship this past February, AHS would earn third as a team, piling up 218.5 points, while SHS scored second with 230.5 as the meet-hosting Pirates—ranked #2 in On The Mat’s initial 3A poll—prevailed with 237.
Senior 138-pounder Skieler Grooms—ranked #10 in 2A beginning the New Year—went 1-2 for the ’Cats and placed fourth after an 8-5 loss to PSHS sophomore Cam Hinger. Beginning the season schedule’s second half billed ninth at 195, junior Cesar Pedregon and senior 126-pounder Hunter Robbins each earned sixth-place status, with Pedregon finishing 2-2 after a 9-2 loss to AHS’ Caleb Varzeas and Robbins 3-2 after an 11-3 major-decision loss to 1A Monticello, Utah’s Matt Beh.
Junior 182-pounder Clay Campbell went 1-2 but took home seventh place after a forfeit win over 2A La Jara Centauri junior Daniel Chavez, and freshman Tyler Barnes finished 1-3 at 145 and placed eighth after falling 9-2 to 4A Kirtland, N.M., Central’s Zakk Thomas.
Freshmen Jeremy Roderick (220), Isaac Welker (113) and Shawn Campbell (132) each went 0-2.
Weather permitting, the grapplers will next journey east to Florence for the loaded Jan. 18-19, 2019, Mel Smith Husky Invitational. Difficulty will remain at a high degree the following weekend, as the squad will travel to Paonia’s ever-competitive Screaming Eagle Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 26.
2019 ROCKY MOUNTAIN INVITATIONAL STANDINGS
1.Pagosa Springs 237, 2.Silver City (N.M.) Silver 230.5, 3.Aztec (N.M.) 218.5, 4.Monticello (UT) 162, 5.Bayfield 123.5, 6.La Jara Centauri 102, 7.Bloomfield (N.M.) 99, 8.Kirtland (N.M.) Central 90, 9.Monte Vista 65, 10.Denver Sheridan 60, 11.IGNACIO 48, 12.Pagosa Springs ‘2’ 39, 13.Pueblo Central 28, 14.Sanford 23, 15.Mancos 11, 16.Dolores 7.