Grand Valley dominates in first round |

Grand Valley dominates in first round

Joelle Milholm
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

DENVER ” After Jerrod Busch’s 10-3 victory in Thursday’s opening round of the Class 2A state wrestling tournament, the 119-pound freshman and Grand Valley head coach Rick Gallegos walked back into the tunnel under the Pepsi Center.

As Busch, who gave the Cardinals their first win on their first chance on Thursday, slapped his teammates on the back, Gallegos simply said: “Busch got it rolling, let’s keep it going.”

The Cardinals heeded their coach’s words, going out and winning nine out of 10 of their matches (which puts nine in today’s quarterfinals) and getting pins in eight. The performance was so good, it put Grand Valley atop the team standings after day one with 34 points. Wiggins is in second with 23 and Paonia and Burlington are tied for third with 20.

“Tournaments aren’t won on day one, but they sure can be lost on day one,” Gallegos said. “Today we pushed through a good bunch, it’s early, but the boys stepped up. We asked for pins and eight of the nine wins were pins.”

Busch wasted no time in his first state match, getting a near fall on Eddie Urban and going up 4-0 in the first 20 seconds. He continued to add to his lead in each period.

“I was kinda excited for that one. I wasn’t really expecting it,” Busch said of his early points. “I caught him off balance and tried to capitalize on it but he was really strong. He’s a good wrestler.”

When Busch was declared winner and the referee held up his arm, his win and its importance sunk in.

“I looked around the stadium and thought, ‘Wow I am actually here,'” Busch said.

His teammates backed up his performance, winning seven of their next eight matches. James Drinkhouse (125 pounds) got his in 2:02; Ryan Gallegos (130) didn’t even need a minute for his win; Jared Tonder (135) took 3:31 and then Matt Cain (140) used 2:32 of the clock.

The Miles brothers physically dominated their matches, with Tyler winning in 1:51 and Cody getting his pin in 2:39. At 171, Tyler Harris needed 1:54 for his pin and Joe Joyner closed out the day with a pin at 3:54.

“It was great. It was a good day,” Joyner said.

Coltin Ostermiller (215) suffered Grand Valley’s lone loss, getting pinned by one of the top 215-pounders in the state ” 33-1 Christian Hornung of Stratton ” in 1:31. Even though Ostermiller fell to the consolation bracket, he’ll have his chance to add to the Cardinals’ point total.

The quarterfinals will begin at 10 a.m. today and the semifinals will be held at 7:15 p.m. For consolations, the first will hit the mats after the quarterfinals wrap up and the second round will take place in the evening session starting at 7:15 p.m.

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