Wed Dec 28th, 2022
Special to the Drum
Categories: Sports, Sports, Wrestling
Tags: 2A John Mall’s Pete & Ina Gomez Invitational, 2A San Juan Basin League, Bobcats Wrestling, ignacio high school, Walsenburg
Sophomore earns third; three ’Cats place
Certainly happy, as any high-schooler tends to be, over beginning the lengthy holiday break, Asher Gallegos may have been the one Bobcat wrestler not so psyched over the end-of-year pause.
Closing out the 2022 half of Ignacio’s schedule competing in Walsenburg at 2A John Mall’s Pete & Ina Gomez Invitational, the sophomore went 3-1 and earned a team-best third place at 144 pounds – helping IHS depart having placed 15th out of 29 scoring (and 30 total) teams. The ’Cats amassed 48 team points, landing them between 2As La Veta (50) and Rye (41).
Ranked No. 8 in Class 2A going in, Trinidad topped the table with 184.5 points, followed by 3As Lamar and La Junta – about as close as the U.S. 50 arch-rivals could ever care to be, with the former nipping the latter 172 to 171.
The 2A County Line (Eads/McClave/Wiley) co-op claimed fourth, totaling 130 points, and 5A No. 5 Colorado Springs Pine Creek’s JV ended up fifth with 118.5 (the varsity Eagles ventured instead to Missouri and the high-profile Kansas City Stampede). Matching 2A Peyton’s 35 points, the hosting Panthers shared 18th place.
Gallegos received a first-round bye, then outlasted LJHS sophomore Davin Vigil 8-6 to advance to the semifinals, when 4A Colorado Springs Palmer junior Arvell Amos prevailed by pin with five seconds left in the first two-minute period. Guaranteed to place, however, Gallegos regrouped and rallied back into the fray with a 9-2 win over PCHS freshman Landon Noble, and ultimately doubled up LVHS junior Jessey Montunnas 6-3.
Ignacio 165-pounder Kendrick Nossaman also received a first-round bye in his 13-wrestler (Gallegos’ division had 14) bracket and followed it up with a 10-5 win over 2A Weston Primero sophomore Aedin Borja. But he, like Gallegos, had his own title hopes dashed in the semis when 2A Fowler junior Caiden Thompson pinned him in just 58 seconds.
Staying alive in the consolation rounds by sticking Rye freshman Skyler Moore in 1:54, Nossaman then met Gaige Cressler of 2A San Juan Basin League rival Dove Creek for third, but the Bulldog senior pinned the Bobcat sophomore in 0:43.
IHS freshman Joshua Kerrigan went 2-2 at 113 pounds, both his wins coming via pin, but did not place. Neither did 120-pounder Dillon Brann, also a freshman, who went 1-2 with a pin.
Starting his tournament with a second-period pin of 2A Simla senior Elijah Choate, freshman Zane Pontine went 3-3 (with consolation-bracket pins coming against La Junta’s Zayden Franklin and DCHS’ Quaden Huffaker) at 138. Relegated to the survival stages after losing by pin to Lamar sophomore Davier Martinez in the winners’ quarterfinals, Pontine ended up placing an unlucky sixth at the weight.
Having already wrestled five times during the Invitational, Pontine (bumped into the fifth-place test via a 5-4 loss to 2A Del Norte freshman Paul Neal) found himself opposing 2A Sargent junior Garrett Thompson – who’d also logged five matches during the event – with their final placings to be determined by rule … which meant, in the Pontine/Thompson case, a coin flip.