Grand Valley’s Witt bounces back, claims bronze at state
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
DENVER – Dreams of gold can turn to dust as quick as a breeze yanks away a sliver of smoke.
That is the cruel nature of the state wrestling tournament.
Grand Valley’s David Witt came to the Pepsi Center dreaming of gold but departed with bronze.
The satisfied grin on the senior’s face was etched more in disappointment than happiness.
“That’s wrestling. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose,” Witt said, talking about his 12-5 semifinal loss to Caleb Copeland of Bennett on Friday night.
The battle every wrestler who loses a semifinal match must confront is how they rebound from that loss.
It was extra tough for Witt, since it was his first loss of the year.
After his third-place win over Mead’s Greg Rademacher, Witt ends the season at 43-1.
Witt entered the tournament as one of three undefeated wrestlers in Class 3A’s 170-pound division.
Copeland came in at 24-0 and Austin Trujillo of Valley came in at 41-0.
Copeland beat Trujillo to win the title and remain unbeaten.
“In wrestling, every time there’s a match, there’s going to be one person who loses,” Grand Valley coach Rick Gallegos said.
Once Witt lost, the veteran coach was concerned about how the senior would respond.
“To go 41-0 and lose, you never know what’s going to happen,” Gallegos said.
But Witt responded with two dominating performances.
In the first match after his loss, the powerful 170-pounder scored a pin, then cruised to the easy 9-2 win over Rademacher.
Witt was in complete control, seemingly toying with Rademacher in the bronze-medal match. After an uneventful first period, Witt went to work pushing his lead to 4-1, 7-1 and finally 9-2.
Before his first match after the loss, Witt had vanquished any mental wounds remaining from his semifinal defeat.
“I was just going to go out there and battle as hard as I could. I wasn’t going to settle for fourth or fifth,” he said.
The third-pace match was a meticulous, workman-like effort. After the match, Gallegos and Witt embraced, celebrating a memorable season.
“With David, it doesn’t surprise me at all. I knew he would come back strong and he did with two dominating matches,” Gallegos said.
“I would love to be wresting tonight [for the title],” Witt said after his third-place match.
Witt is a four-time state qualifier, who placed fifth last year at 152 pounds.
Witt is at ease with his performance, knowing that he did it his best.
“I went as hard as I could. I couldn’t have wrestled any harder. I couldn’t have been more prepared,” he said.
At 43-1, Witt left Denver disappointed he didn’t get the chance to wrestle for a title. But he was satisfied with his effort.
“It’s wrestling. It’s a sport. Sometimes you lose,” he said.
George Stagg’s state stay ended with a loss to Salida’s Anthony Muth in the consolation bracket’s third round on Saturday. Stagg wrestled at 132 pounds.
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