Demons’ Barham wrestles to first at West Grand Invite |

Demons’ Barham wrestles to first at West Grand Invite

Glenwood Springs High School’s wrestling team produced one placer at last weekend’s West Grand Invitational.

Justin Barham took first place at 170 pounds, defeating Wyoming state qualifier R.J. Seeman of Hanna-Elk Mountain in the semifinals by major decision, 9-1, before defeating Keegan Wentz of Buena Vista, 6-3, in the finals.

Barham surrendered a takedown midway through the first period of the title match and then Wentz rode out the period.

Late in the second, Barham worked a switch into a reversal and immediately locked up a cradle, ending the period with Wentz on his back and three back points for Barham. That made it 5-2 in Barham’s favor.

In the third, Wentz chose down and was called for stalling, awarding a penalty point to Barham. With 10 seconds left in the period, Wentz got an escape to complete the scoring at 6-3.

Barham also defeated Wentz, who is ranked fourth in the latest On the Mat Rankings, last week at Buena Vista, 3-2.

“Justin and I talked before the match about how hard it is to defeat a quality opponent two matches in a row, and Justin took it to heart,” Glenwood assistant coach Miles Cook said. “It was great to see him score with the cradle to get ahead in the match.”

Sophomore Irvin Pallares finished 2-2 at 132 pounds for the Demons, who were missing several wrestlers because of illness. The team is also feeling the repercussions of losing four starters to football injuries.

“Our young wrestlers are growing quickly in experience, and we know it will pay off for them in the long run,” Cook said.

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