Wrestlers left wanting action pre-Melton

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Ignacio School District

Multiple stops scratched before home meet

Competition during the COVID-19 pandemic years has certainly been difficult enough to hold in any sport. But try being a high-school wrestler, participating in about the most close-quarters sport held today…

Denied a home triangular with fellow 2A San Juan Basin Leaguers Dove Creek and non-league 2A Del Norte on Tues., Jan. 18, due in part to all three squads simply struggling to keep roster numbers up, the Ignacio Bobcats were also forced to forego venturing to the Jan. 21-22 Sand Devil Classic in Page, Ariz., during a week in which IHS’ athletic teams were all out of commission, and, most recently, also canceled their 1/25 dual at DCHS.

But things are looking up for Jordan Larsen’s gents, at least as of press time.

Ignacio has reportedly been invited to Bayfield to join the Wolverines, Pagosa Springs and Montezuma-Cortez for action Friday evening, Jan. 28, with IHS still planning to host its Butch Melton Memorial Invitational the next day.

According to BHS Athletic Director Andy Duffy, the 3A Intermountain League triangular on the 28th will begin at 5 p.m. with PSHS squaring off against M-CHS – which did travel to Page and placed 16th with five Panthers in uniform (SJBLers Dolores also made the trip and, with only two Bears, placed 17th out of 25 represented schools).

Bayfield will then face Montezuma-Cortez at 6 p.m. for their Senior/Parent Appreciation Night feature but, having considered M-CHS’ reduced roster, will work the ’Cats into the mix in order for every senior to get a match.

Led by Ben Belt’s 4-0 run to the 175-pound division championship, 4A Durango’s nine Demons managed to place sixth overall at the SDC, while 5A Queen Creek, Ariz., Casteel racked up a winning 323.5 points to best 6A Phoenix Desert Vista (258) and 3A Cedar City, Utah, Canyon View (206.5) atop the standings.

HACKETT HEROIC IN JUNCTION

Able to travel north for 4A Grand Junction Central’s MLK Girls’ Invitational held Sat., Jan. 15, Ignacio’s Lady Bobcats tallied 31 points and finished tenth out of 16 teams.

Enjoying probably the finest tournament of her young mat career, junior Faye Hackett followed up a first-round ‘bye’ at 127 pounds by winning three consecutive matches and earning first place. Impressively, all three victories came via first-period pin – in 1:28 over 3A Fort Lupton sophomore Katlind Hunt; in 1:08 over 3A Severance senior Addi Cronk; and in 1:14 over Central junior Apollonia Middleton.

Lexy Young finished 1-2 at 136 including a second-period pin of Central freshman Ada Bean, before being eliminated 6-2 by Bayfield senior Brooke Morse – who’d eventually place fifth over 2A Kremmling West Grand junior Sage Lechman.

4A Mead held off the hosting Lady Warriors 128-106 to win the team title, with FLHS (90), 4A Colorado Springs Mesa Ridge (76.5) and Severance (74) rounding out the top five.

Dolores also attended the Invitational, with 111-pounders Akima Edwards and Valentina Tarini combining to score a 14th-place 13 points. Edwards technically went 3-3 – her consolation-bracket quarterfinals win unfortunately eliminated 1-2 Tarini – after conceding, due to CHSAA’s five-match/one-day rule, the weight’s fifth-place match to Mead sophomore Grace Peck.

In the previous day’s dual-style feature, IHS lost 18-12 to Durango (though both Hackett and Young were victorious), 48-6 to Central (Hackett pinned Middleton in 1:47), 18-0 to Dolores and 30-6 to 2A Olathe (Lady ’Cat Danylle Herrera, injured in a loss to Central’s Bridie Cameron, pinned Allie Stambaugh in 1:01 at 147 pounds) in the 11th-place pairing.

Central defeated Mead 30-24 with first place at stake, and Mesa Ridge downed Fort Lupton 36-24 for third.

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