Demons finish fourth at regional tourney; states next |

Demons finish fourth at regional tourney; states next

Competing at the 4A regional wrestling tournament, the Glenwood Springs Demons placed fourth overall behind some very strong teams in Greeley Central, Pueblo East and Canon City.

The Demons traveled with 13 wrestlers to regionals. Eleven of the 13 placed for Glenwood. According to assistant coach Miles Cook, the 11 wrestlers that placed marked the most that Glenwood has ever had place at regionals. Building off of the regional performance, the Demons will travel with four wrestlers to the state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver this Thursday through Saturday.

On top of that, the 4A Western Slope League also awarded the Demons the League Championship by virtue of being the highest placing team at Regionals from the western slope (all Western Slope teams participate in the same regional).

In the 113-pound division at regionals, sophomore Felix Cano advanced to the finals with a first period fall (:55) over Chase Alberts from Sand Creek and a 5-0 decision over Dilan Esparza from host Vista Peak. Against Esparza in the semi-final match, Cano wrestled to a scoreless first period. Esparza then chose bottom and was turned twice for near fall points to make the score 4-0 going into the third. Cano then chose bottom and then escaped within eight seconds to wrap up the scoring. In the finals, Cano was caught in a headlock and pinned by second-ranked Jace Trujillo of Pueblo East, giving Cano the second-place finish.

Looking to match Cano, freshman Mathew Flores finished sixth overall in the 120-pound division. Flores lost by major decision, 12-2, to Vista Peak’s Tristan Curtis to drop to the back side of the bracket. After another bye, Mathew defeated Lewis Palmer’s Maz Voshage by decision, 9-5, to earn a regional placing by advancing to the consolation semi-finals. Facing Canon City’s JW Ruona, Flores was pinned in 4:28 to fall to the fifth place match. Flores again faced Curtis and lost by pin in 4:36, wrapping up the sixth-place finish.

Junior Riley Prough earned the No. 3 seed in the 126-pound division and received a first-round bye before facing Montrose’s Jeff Dick in the quarter finals. Riley controlled the match, earning a pin in 3:02 while holding a 9-0 lead at the time of the pin. In the semi-finals wrestling against the second seed, Prough was wrestling from behind, which was a rare place for him this season. Wrestling Victor Gutierrez from Pueblo East, Prough shot early and lost the ensuing scramble for the takedown.

After escaping, Prough again got off a solid shot only to lose the scramble to go into the second period down 4-1. Gutierrez chose down and was unable to gain points, as Prough was able to lock up a head-and-arm off early in the period and secure the pin at 2:33. In the finals, Prough squared off with No. 1 seed and fifth-ranked Zeke Alirez from Greeley Central. After giving up a takedown, Prough found himself in a cross-face cradle and lost by pin just 51 seconds in, wrapping up his second-place finish.

Junior Larry Flores also secured the No. 3 seed in the 132-pound division. In the quarter-finals Flores defeated Tucker McDowell from Canon City, whom he caught in a second period headlock, pinning him in 2:43. Flores then wrestled well on the back side, pinning Tyler Weaks of Lewis Palmer in 56 seconds, before defeating Gage Nettleblad from Palisade in the consolation quarter-finals. In the consolation semifinals, Flores squared off with No.1 seed Justus Strand, who was upset in the semifinals. Flores wrestled well but was ultimately pinned in 3:45 to fall to the fifth-place match, where he finished out his season with a pinfall (4:06) win over Cyrus Baxter from Montrose. The fifth-place finish was just one spot away from moving on to the state tournament.

In the 138-pound division, Juan Felan received a first-round bye, but then lost by major decision to Tucker Coffey of Canon City, 11-3. On the back side of the bracket, Felan defeated Zach Stowell from Lewis Palmer by decision, 8-1. In the consolation quarter-finals, Felan defeated Pueblo East’s Lucas Andrada by decision, 7-2, before falling to Greeley Central’s Alonzo Samaniego in a tight match by decision, 3-2. Felan then wrestled in the fifth-place match where he was caught on his back midway through the third period, leading to a pin by Chase Harding of Montrose in 4:02, wrapping up a sixth-place finish for Felan.

Sophomore Easton Turner (145) earned a first-round win over Franco Lopez of Battle Mountain by decision, 9-5. Trailing 5-1 after two periods, Turner flipped a switch in the third, scoring a takedown and an escape to start the period before converting a takedown and then scoring back points twice, riding a leg and a power-half for a two-count and then a five-count to finish the match. Fllowing his win over Lopez, Turner was pinned by the No. 1-seed Zac Hanenberg from Canon City in 1:01. On the back side of the bracket, Turner lost a heartbreaker to Giovanni Benedetto from Lewis Palmer, 7-5. Finding himself on top in the third period, Turner was unable to get a turn to tie or win the match and rode out the period.

At 152 pounds, senior Herbie Vega came into the tournament as the No. 2 seed. Vega defeated Kaleb Renteria from Pueblo East by major decision, 12-4, to advance to the semifinals.

Vega then lost by decision, 7-2, to Bailey McBride from Canon City and dropped to the consolation semifinals. Facing Patrick Haggard from Lewis Palmer, Vega dominated the match, scoring several takedowns, a reversal, and securing back points three separate times to win by major decision, 15-7, to advance to the third-place match and secure his trip to the state tournament in Denver. In the consolation finals, Vega met a familiar opponent, and again scored a major decision (11-2) over Pueblo East’s Renteria, wrapping up his third-place finish.

Sophomore Jack Ries (160) scored a first-period pinfall over Richard Roush from Sand Creek (1:02). In the quarterfinals, Ries fell by major decision to Zion Freeman from Pueblo East,18-5, before receiving a bye. Ries then defeated Greg Kennedy from Littleton by pin in just 2:17 to advance to the consolation semis. Durango’s Cole Gustavson, who had lost in the semifinals, pinned Ries in 4:39 to drop him into the fifth-place match, where Ries was able to pin Jayden Smith from Vista Peak in 3:12.

No. 1 seed and No. 1 in the state Myles Wilson (170) had a first-round bye. Once he got onto the mat for a match, Wilson pinned Matthew Richie from Littleton in the first period (1:38) and then pinned Wyatt Harwood from Battle Mountain in 1:13 in the semi-finals. In the finals, Wilson met Andrue Rojas from Greeley Central and won by major decision, 16-2, wrapping up the first-place finish.

In the 182-pound division, senior Edgar Carbajal pinned Vista Peak’s Alex Moten in the first period, scoring a quick takedown and then securing the pin with a near-side cradle. Carbajal was then pinned by Nicklas Snyder from Canon City at 4:40 in the semi-finals. In the consolation semis, Carbajal dropped a close match, 5-4, to Montrose’s Travis McGregor, 5-4.

Wrestling in the fifth-place match, Carbajal lost by major decision, 13-0, to Jose Medrano from Palisade. The match was much closer than the score, as Carbajal looked for big moves in the third period, before just missing to give up late points.

Looking to return to the state tournament one final time, senior Gerry Viveros’ bid fell just short. After a first-round bye, Viveros fell to Billy Farris from Palisade in a very tight match 7-6. On the back side, Viveros received another bye then defeated Randon Mathias from Montrose by fall (:52) as he dug double underhooks and took Mathias straight to his back. Viveros was pinned by Curren Chapman from Lewis Palmer in 3:43 to drop into the fifth-place match. Viveros had a chance to avenge his early loss to Farris and took advantage. Farris attempted to through Viveros in the second period, but Viveros rolled it through and converted to a pin in 1:47. Viveros had an opportunity to go to state with a wrestle-back for true-fourth v. Damon Sabbagh from Pueblo East but was pinned in 2:40. Viveros finished fifth.

Senior Irvin Vazquez (220) also fell short of returning to the Pepsi Center. In the quarterfinals, Vazquez lost to Gabe Lopez of Pueblo East in the ultimate tiebreaker (four overtimes.) Scoreless after one period, Vazquez chose down and quickly escaped in the second. In the third, Lopez took down and reversed but Vazquez escaped to tie the match at two. In the sudden victory period there was no score. In the second overtime period, Vazquez scored a takedown and escaped to go up by one, but gave it back in the third overtime with an escape for Lopez.

As the first wrestler to score, Vazquez had first choice in the UTB period and chose down. He needed to escape to win but was unable to get away a fourth time and dropped the match. On the back side of the bracket, Vazquez defeated Gentry Gortner by decision, 10-5, to advance to the consolation semis, but was pinned by Ryan Earl from Lewis Palmer. In the fifth-place match, Vazquez was pinned in the second period by Luis Ronquillo from Canon City (1:54), wrapping up a sixth-place finish for the Glenwood senior.

Finally, at 285 pounds, sophomore Isaias Hernandez scored a second period fall over Cole Borhoft from Vista Peak in the opening round, before being pinned early in the third (4:20) by Xavier Byrne from Canon City. Hernandez then lost by decision, 2-0, to Alex Yeadon from Greeley Central to close out his first trip to regionals.

The Demons will travel to Denver for the state tournament, Thursday.

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