DENVER, Colorado - Cody Pfau was so spent at the end of her 106-pound wrestling match against Fort Lupton senior Ferdinando Martinez on Thursday, she wasn't even sure that she'd won.
That's when the Grand Valley High School senior saw the scoreboard, which was still in her favor.
"I kind of stood there and waited to see if I should be happy or not," Pfau said.
She has plenty to be happy about. Her 6-5 victory in the first-round of the Class 3A State Championships at the Pepsi Center marked the first time a female wrestler in Colorado had earned a first-round victory and reached the tournament's championship bracket.
"When we got back in the tunnel, I was trying to give her props for what she'd done," Grand Valley coach Rick Gallegos said. "But I was trying do that as she was wobbling off the floor because she was so tired. I just told her how proud of her I was."
The Cardinals had plenty to be proud of after Thursday's preliminary round. They pushed five of the six wrestlers they brought to the tournament into the quarterfinals, which begin at 10 a.m. today.
Dallas Rohrig was the one of the four Rifle wrestlers to reach the quarterfinals, earning an 8-6 overtime victory over Pueblo West's Erik Romero at 138 pounds in the 4A tournament's first round. He'll face Hunter Shivly of Conifer in the 4A quarterfinals, which will begin at 1 p.m. today.
Grand Valley's Michael Salazar, who won the 160-pound 3A Region 1 title this past weekend in Parachute, earned a 13-0 victory over Oscar Archuleta of Manitou Springs. Bryan Hegwood beat Faith Christian's Seth Von Rentzell 9-2 at 170 pounds, George Stagg rallied late for a 10-7 first-round win over Sheridan's John Pearce at 145, and Tucker Schultz earned the Cardinals' only pin of the day, beating Sheridan's Carlos Maez at the 2 minute, 49 second mark of his first-round match at 138 pounds.
"Michael Salazar had the most solid match he's had all year," Gallegos said. "He did everything we asked and had everything work for him."
Will Hinkle, Grand Valley's 152-pounder, will wrestle in this morning's consolation bracket after he was pinned by Scott Sandoval of Florence.
Falling in the first round of the 4A competition and moving into the third-place bracket were Rifle's 120-pounder Oscar Ruelas, 126-pounder Isaac Rider and 132-pounder Coy Zang, and Glenwood Springs' 170-pounder Justin Barham.
Each of Coal Ridge's four participants in the 3A tournament dropped their first-round matches.
Pfau took her slim one-point lead into the third period, then rode out her opponent Martinez and prevented a pair of late escape and reversal attempts. Martinez nearly came away with a two-point reversal in the final 10 seconds of the match, leaving Pfau in doubt of the outcome.
"It wasn't until the referee raised my arm up that I really felt good," she said.
Pfau (29-7), who has earned a scholarship to wrestle for the women's wrestling team at Oklahoma City University, moved into the quarterfinals to face the top-seeded wrestler in the weight class, Tel Kelley of Alamosa (27-2). Kelley pinned La Junta's Lance Shoulderblade in 3:28 to advance.
The fact that Kelley is the top-seeded wrestler in the weight class isn't a concern to Pfau. Then again, neither was her victory on Thursday.
"To me, this isn't that big of a deal," Pfau said. "And I can't think about what seed (Kelley) is. If I do there's a good chance I'll just fall apart. I just have to realize when I go against him that people are human and they can make mistakes."