Ignacio matmen take 12th in Salida

It’s probably a good thing that National Hug Day officially falls each year on Jan. 21.

Because it probably would have been odd, or tough, for Ignacio wrestlers Matthew Powell and Taylor Smith to have embraced hardly 48 hours before at the Rob Mickel Memorial Invitational in Salida.

With several divisions simply needing bodies to fill brackets, teams had the opportunity to enter a couple in each. And as it turned out, Bob Overturf was able to do so not only with the senior Smith and the freshman Powell at 120 pounds, but also with sophomores Trever Sivers and David Cooper at 132.

The latter duo combined to go 2-4 for the day — Sivers winning an injury-default in consolation-round action over Del Norte’s Michael Martinez, Cooper a pin in 4:56 of elapsed time against Antonito’s Teddie Klingler — but did not have to go head-to-head.

Smith and Powell did, and in the consolation rounds Smith scored a quick second-period pin to oust his teammate, who finished the event 0-2. But after then defeating Cedaredge’s Wyatt Hamilton 4-2, Smith’s run at third (he went 2-2, took sixth) ended underneath DN’s Keenan Martinez 89 seconds in.

Ranked sixth in the Jan. 18 Class 2A rankings, Del Norte amassed 195.5 points to win the event, with the hosting Spartans (No. 8 in 3A) second with 143. Hotchkiss (139), CHS (119) and Center (117.5) rounded out the top five, with sixth-place Nucla (103) the best San Juan Basin League representatives.

With no entries at 106, 113, 145, 152, 170, 182 or 220 pounds, Ignacio still managed to register 51 points and take 12th out of the 19 teams attending.

Sophomore heavyweight Josh Gallegos’ third-place finish was the Bobcats’ highest. After losing 2-1 to HHS’ Zach Taylor, following mutual first-round byes in the four-man (three being seniors) bracket, he stuck Nucla’s Raphael Spencer in 39 seconds to finish 1-1.

Freshman Javan Webb went 1-2 at 195 pounds: pinned in 23 seconds by Del Norte’s Brian Bothell, victorious by pin in 45 over Ellicott’s Dakota Howe, but then pinned by NHS’ Dominique Piele.

Sophomore Kyle Bailey went 0-2 at 126, but classmate Iaasic Pena started off at 138 by pinning DN’s Luke Haefeli 36 ticks into the second period. Fifty-three seconds into the second against Center’s Jeremiah Moreno, however, Pena was relegated to the Mickel’s survival stages.

And he bounced back well, winning two consolation-bracket matches before a quick pin courtesy of Salida’s Brandon Coleman, who went on to take third.

And at 160, sophomore Blaine Mickey pinned his first two opponents — Cedaredge’s Isaiah Surber and Dashon King of Colorado Springs St. Mary’s — in just over five minutes total, before SHS’ Chance Ogden dealt him a similar fate in 1:34. Colorado Springs Christian’s Cameron Kruatschun then pinned him 77 seconds into their consolation-bracket semifinal bout, but Mickey received fifth place when Norwood’s Kolby Starks forfeited.

The Bobcats are off to Paonia’s Mixed Duals and Screaming Eagle Invitational this weekend.

TEAM STANDINGS: 1.Del Norte 195.5, 2.Salida 143, 3.Hotchkiss 139, 4.Cedaredge 119, 5.Center 117.5, 6.Nucla 103, 7.Colorado Springs Christian 92.5, 8.Peyton 91, 9.Norwood 86, 10.Ellicott 71, 11.Manitou Springs 62, 12.IGNACIO 51, 13.C.S. St. Mary’s 44, 14.Monument Lewis-Palmer 43, 15.Antonito 34, 16.Saguache Mountain Valley 33, 17 (tie).San Luis Centennial/Manzanola 11, 19.Simla 0.

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