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Glenwood’s Wilson, Rifle’s Smith lead Garfield County wrestling contingent to state finals next weekend

Glenwood Springs senior Amos Wilson leads a pack of 15 Garfield County prep wrestlers to the state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver Feb. 20-22.

Wilson (36-4) won the 182-pound championship at the Class 3A Regionals in Montrose on Saturday, en route to earning the No. 1 seed in his weight classification for the state meet.

At Regionals, Wilson wrestled his way into the championship match against Zebuel Alexander of Gunnison, winning by fall in 1:46. He’ll face Christian Scanderett (5-7) of Resurrection Christian in the first round of the state tournament on Thursday.

Two other area wrestlers won Regional titles on Saturday: Rifle senior Cauy Smith (32-4) at 126 pounds, and Basalt’s Ernesto Lopez (29-3) at 285 pounds.

Rifle’s Cauy Smith, front, in action earlier this season in Rifle.
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Smith, one of eight Rifle wrestlers who qualified for state, won by virtue of a 6-2 decision over Grand Valley’s Hector De la Cruz, who also qualifies for state. Both will enter state as mid-range seeds — Smith facing Daniel Matthews (32-7) of Valley to open the tournament, and De la Cruz (30-10) taking the mat against Seth Marick (40-12) of Sterling.

In the team competition at the 3A Regionals, Rifle was fourth behind champion Pagosa Springs, Alamosa and Moffat County. Grand Valley was eighth and Glenwood 13th.

Lopez will be one of two Basalt representatives at the 3A state meet.

He defeated Grand Valley’s Hayden Grice by fall in 3:07 for the Regional win, and will face Ryan Metzger (8-15) of La Junta on Thursday to open the state tournament.

Joining Lopez will be Longhorns’ wrestler Ruben Samuelson (37-1) at 170 pounds. The Roaring Fork High student who wrestles for Basalt took second at Regionals, losing a 6-0 decision in the title match to Hunter Smith of Alamosa. He’ll face No. 2 seed Randy Duran (31-8) of Jefferson to open the state meet.

Other state qualifiers from area high schools and their opening matchups include:

106 pounds — Rifle sophomore Hunter Bercher (23-11 and fourth at Regionals) vs. No. 5 Matthew Medina (33-5) of Eagle Valley.

120 pounds — Rifle sophomore Caleb Gieselman (19-6 and fourth at Regionals) vs. No. 5 Nadim Karger (35-6) from Sky View.

132 pounds — Rifle senior Talon Cordova (29-13 and fourth at Regionals) vs. No. 1 seed junior Zane Rankin (32-1) of Lamar.

138 pounds — Rifle junior Bryce Rowley (41-12 and third at Regionals) vs. No. 3 Talyn Massie (27-11) of Berthoud; and Glenwood Springs senior Erik Krauth (30-12 and fourth at Regionals) vs. Isaiah Rios (36-2) from Valley.

152 pounds — Grand Valley senior Conrad Demann (18-8 and fourth at Regionals) vs. Walker Kee (17-6) of Lamar.

160 pounds -— Rifle senior Dillon Tiffany (24-6 and second at Regionals) vs. Cole Nading (28-10) of Mullen.

195 pounds -— Rifle junior Alex Guardado (33-13 and fourth at Regionals) vs. Enoc Macias-Castilo (36-5) of Arvada

285 pounds — Grand Valley sophomore Hayden Grice (31-11 and second at Regionals) vs. Kyle Good (32-12) James Irwin; and Rifle senior Alejandro Robles (32-15 and fourth at Regionals) vs. Sy Spitz (21-4) of Lamar.

jstroud@postindependent.com