DENVER - Grand Valley High School wrestler Cody Pfau's shot at becoming the first female state wrestling champion ended in a 3A quarterfinal loss Friday morning at the Denver Pepsi Center, but the senior still has a shot at placing in the 106-pound bracket. Pfau bounced back from a 17-2 technical fall loss to top-seeded sophomore Tel Kelley of Alamosa with a 4-2 win against freshman Ryan Francis of The Classical Academy. She'll wrestle sophomore Andrew Clark (46-15) of Bennett this morning with the winner advancing for a chance to finish as high as third place.
Grand Valley has five wrestlers competing today.
"We're still alive and you can't complain about that," said Grand Valley coach Rick Gallegos. "We have kids battling to make the podium. We'll see how it goes [today]. Our 106-pounder [Pfau] is still competing and setting records."
Grand Valley's Bryan Hegwood (28-10) won his 170-pound quarterfinal match to become the only area wrestler to advance to the semifinal round. Hegwood pinned Centauri sophomore Jensen Hamilton in 5 minutes, 23 seconds, to advance against two-time state champion Caleb Copeland (46-1) of Bennett. In the semis, Copeland pinned Hegwood at 3:52, sending the Grand Valley grappler to the consolation bracket with a shot at third place today and a guaranteed podium (top six) finish.
"It's a big deal for our kids to make it to the podium," Gallegos said. "Bryan [Hegwood] will be honored on our 'Wall of Fame' in our wrestling room at school."
Several other area wrestlers also have a shot at finishing as high as third place. In the 3A category, Grand Valley senior Tucker Schultz (23-13) won his first match Friday at 138 pounds with a pin against Carlos Maez of Sheridan at 2:49, then lost in the quarterfinals to Joel Contrares of Sterling. Schultz then defeated Ben Gutierrez of University and meets junior Jared Mesta (38-2) of Dolores Huerta Prep today. Senior George Stagg of Grand Valley (29-14) won his first match at 145 pounds with a 10-7 decision against junior John Pearce of Sheridan. Stagg lost his quarterfinal match 6-1 to senior Anthony Mozal of Valley, then advanced to wrestle today by defeating senior Troy Rose (30-16) of Olathe.
Grand Valley senior Michael Salazar (32-13) won his first match Friday with a 13-0 major decision against senior Oscar Archuleta of Manitou Springs. He then dropped his quarterfinal match against senior Hunter Bell of Bennett. Salazar advanced with a win against Tony Ibarra of Hotchkiss (24-16), pinning the senior at 2:27.
In the 4A category, two Rifle wrestlers are still in the hunt for third place. Senior Coy Zang (39-10) was pinned at 2:30 in his opening match to senior Steve Turner of Discovery Canyon. Zang then went on to win his next two matches with a 5-3 decision against senior Conor Lococo of Windsor, then pinned junior Joey Lambert of Niwot at 1:13. Rifle junior Dallas Rohrig (37-10) won his first match with an 8-6 decision against senior Eric Romero of Pueblo West before losing a 4-3 decision to Hunter Shively of Conifer. Rohrig then won with a major decision against senior Jayme Wilson (27-7) of Widefield.