Bear grapplers collect another three medals
DENVER – Familiarity with opponents gave Rifle an edge as the Bears collected three state medals – two third-place and one fifth-place – in the the Class 4A consolation bracket Saturday.James Conrardy and Tim Long defeated Moffat County’s Brice Boling and Daniel Cramblett in separate third-place matches. Tyler Thompson took fifth by taking a 9-4 decision over Montrose’s Landon Hornbeck. All three Bears in the consolation tournament had beaten their opponents earlier this season.Conrardy pinned Boling in 4 minutes, 50 seconds for the 112-pound third-place medal. The win upped Conrardy’s record to 3-0 against the Bulldog junior.”I think I did all right for my first year. I still think that I could have done better,” he said, referring to the 4-1 championship semifinal loss to Aron Baltierra Friday.”I wanted to take the state championship, but I feel pretty good about taking third.”Long never trailed against Cramblett. The only point Cramblett scored was on a first-period escape, which narrowed Long’s lead to 2-1.Ahead by one, Long stepped up his attack in the second period.”I went into this match knowing (Cramblett) would be gunning for me,” said Long. “Because at state you go for blood. They don’t come here to just do good. They come here to do the best they can.”Long distanced himself on a near fall followed by a reversal before the pin.The opponent didn’t matter to Long. Instead, he was looking at his 152-pound, third-place match with Boling as redemption to losing his championship semifinal match the night before.”To tell you the truth, I didn’t really care,” Long said. “After that semifinal loss, I figured that I just wanted to go out and have people remember me.”Cramblett certainly will. Saturday’s win marked the third time in four encounters he’s lost to the Rifle junior.Thompson won his only previous match with Montrose’s Landon Hornbeck. That win came at last week’s regional meet in Grand Junction. “It felt a little more comfortable,” Thompson said of going against a known opponent. But the most important part of his fifth-place match to the Bears junior was to “wrestle hard.”Thompson accomplished his win by coming on in the third period. Hornbeck aidedgrapplers: see page 13grapplers: from page 11 the cause by giving up an escape point to Thompson to break a 4-all tie.”That was definitely a confidence booster there at the end,” he explained. “It was close until then. Then I pulled away.”After taking the lead, Thompson distanced himself by scoring a pair of two-point takedowns in the period’s final minute for the 9-4 decision.”Just getting here is a great thing,” he said. “But placing here is great, too.” Thompson recovered from an earlier 8-3 loss to Josh Rangel of Greeley Central to earn fifth place at 160 pounds.Last week, Thompson defeated the Indians’ senior in the quarterfinals of the West regional meet in Grand Junction.Junior Derek Fruetel dropped out of medal contention in the 145-pound consolation bracket when he lost a 6-1 decision to Lief Olsen of Sand Creek. Fruetel, in his first appearance at state, won two of four matches and advanced to the championship quarterfinals. In the 2A tournament, Grand Valley wrestlers Cody Miles and Justin Busch were eliminated from the tournament in third-place semifinal matches. Tyler Ramson defeated Miles in the 140-pound consolations. Busch, wrestling at 145 pounds, lost a tough 2-1 decision to Alfonso Casias of Antonito.
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