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Ignacio's Aven Bourriague introduces Sedgwick County-Fleming's Cooper Edson to the mat during Class 2A, 106-pound consolation-bracket action Saturday, Feb. 17, inside Ball Arena in Denver. Bourriague lost by ultimate-tiebreaker and concluded the 2024 CHSAA State Championships placing fourth at the weight.
Escorted off the mat by Lady Bobcat head coach Aimee Larsen, Ignacio's Larissa Espinosa celebrates her win over Colorado Springs Vista Ridge's Kaylyn Yutzy during girls' 190-pound consolation-bracket action Saturday, Feb. 17, inside Ball Arena in Denver. Espinosa finished the 2024 CHSAA State Championships with a sixth-place 3-3 record.
Ignacio's Lincoln deKay clashes with Mancos' Brandon Vannest during Class 2A, 150-pound consolation-bracket action Saturday, Feb. 17, inside Ball Arena in Denver. Victorious over his fellow San Juan Basin Leaguer early in the 2024 CHSAA State Championships, deKay lost the rematch 2-1 and placed fourth at the weight.
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
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Bourriague, deKay place fourth at State


Lady ’Cat Espinosa also ends on podium 

They’ll be back next season. And after how the 2023-24 wrestling season ended Saturday afternoon, Feb. 17, for Ignacio talents Aven Bourriague and Lincoln deKay, they’ll have not just chips on their respective shoulders but super-sized spuds motivating them up the podium. 

Scrapping against Sedgwick County-Fleming freshman Cooper Edson with third place at state in Class 2A’s 106-pound division, Bourriague found himself tied 3-3 after three regulation two-minute periods. The bout would essentially go into triple overtime and Bourriague – who’d initially lost in the second-day winners’ semifinals – was penalized a point for an apparent stall-style disengage, gifting Edson a 4-3 ultimate-tiebreaker victory inside Denver’s Ball Arena. 

His first State loss a 6-0 verdict in the winners’ semifinals against eventual State Champion Miguel Franco, a Pueblo Dolores Huerta Prep senior, Bourriague (who’d defeated Edson by 16-7 major decision in the quarters) concluded his second winter in Bobcat colors standing 35-7 overall. 

The last of five Bobcats to qualify for the three-day spectacle, deKay actually had a small advantage going into his third-place test at 150; he was pit against Mancos junior Brandon Vannest, whom he’d already defeated (7-5 sudden-victory) in the winners’ quarterfinals. Unfortunately, his fellow San Juan Basin Leaguer turned the tables in the rematch, grinding out a 2-1 win in regulation – not long after deKay, whose first loss had come in the semis against eventual State Champion Tripp DuVall of Holly, had edged Greeley Dayspring Christian junior Logan Clark 1-0 in the consolation semis to survive. 

All told, deKay (40-3 overall) went 3-2 at the 2024 CHSAA State Championships and Bourriague ditto, helping IHS tally 38 points and place 17th in 2A’s 55-team standings. At the top of the stack was Meeker; the Cowboys’ 150 points bettered runner-up Cedaredge’s 145 and third-place Wray’s 129, with Buena Vista (96.5) and Hotchkiss North Fork (84.5) following. 

Vannest and MHS – the highest-placing SJBL squad – ended up tying Wiggins for ninth place; each team scored 61 points. Nucla (49) came in 15th, Dove Creek (13) 33rd, and Norwood (1 point) ended up sharing 48th with Weston Primero. Dolores had zero qualifiers and thus was not represented. 

Additionally for Ignacio, senior Kyle Rima (28-10) went 1-2 at heavyweight, pinning initial opponent Dayton Blok of Rye with only four ticks left in the second period before then being pinned by Meeker’s Noah LeBlanc and Rocky Ford’s Omar Ocana. Sophomore Zane Pontine (35-12) went 1-2 at 144 pounds, pinning first consolation-round foe Josiah Mackintosh of Merino 36 seconds into the second period before then being eliminated on Day 2 by Mancos senior Levi Martin. 

And at 165 pounds junior Kendrick Nossaman (27-17) lost by pin in 24 seconds on Day 1 to Wray’s Casey Midcap, but recomposed himself to stick Las Animas’ Caleb Mobley in an elapsed 2:19 before going out in 1:28 versus BVHS’ Carter Stromer. 

 

Lady ’Cats Finish 38th 

 

Led by sophomore Larissa Espinosa’s sixth-place finish at 190 pounds, IHS’ girls totaled 16 points and tied Woodland Park and Craig-based Moffat County for 38th (out of 77 represented schools) in the all-classification tourney’s standings.  

Starting well with a second-period pin of Wiggins’ Mackenzee Steinbar, Espinosa was then relegated to the consolation bracket by Centennial Arapahoe’s Madison McKee, who prevailed by pin in 1:06. Espinosa, however, bounced back strong and pinned both Colorado Springs Discovery Canyon’s Melanie Marin Lopez and Colorado Springs Vista Ridge’s Kaylyn Yutzy to guarantee herself a place on the podium. 

Where she stood would be determined after Espinosa (22-17 overall in ’23-24) was pinned in the consolation semis by Grand Junction Central’s Adalee McNeil and then defeated 4-0 by McKee in the fifth-place bout. 

Lainee Bradley (8-8 overall) went 0-2 at 125 pounds, while senior Soriah Perez (11-21) went 1-2 at 235 – pinning first consolation-round opponent Ruth Worknhe of Aurora Overland 1:57 into the second period – but also did not place. 

Piling up 135.5 points, Arvada Pomona narrowly won the team title over G.J. Central (129), with Loveland (93.5), DCHS (78) and Castle Rock Douglas County (71) filling out the top five. 

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