Grand Valley sends seven wrestlers to state |

Grand Valley sends seven wrestlers to state

GUNNISON, Colorado ” The Grand Valley Cardinals sent seven wrestlers to the semifinals in the 3A regional wrestling tournament in Gunnison on Saturday and all seven are heading to state.

Wrestling above 7,000 feet of elevation, the Cardinals’ conditioning gave them the upper edge on many of their opponents.

“They didn’t show any signs of fatigue,” Cardinal coach Rick Gallegos said. “We’re wrestling at 7,700 feet at Gunnison, and most of the other teams were fading later in the matches. Our boys were like the Energizer Bunny.”

The Cardinals can boast three regional champs: Jared Tonder (140 pounds), Ryan Gallegos (145), and Joe Joyner (285). Tyler Miles (152) and James Drinkhouse (130) placed second, and Jerrod Busch (125) and David Witt (135) brought home third.

As a team, Grand Valley placed third behind Olathe and Hotchkiss.

“It was no big surprise,” Gallegos said. “We knew they were really strong teams. Hotchkiss is sending eight, I think. The seven we’re taking are pretty solid though.”

They have less than a week until state, which starts on Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Three Titan matmen advance

Coal Ridge will have three wrestlers in Denver for the state tournament.

Bradey Gasaway was regional champ at 189 pounds, posting a 3-0 record on Saturday. Neal Schultz (125 pounds) went 2-1 placing second in his weight bracket, and Keenan Grumley (140) also took second.

All three Titans wrestled to their seed, in other words, they ended up placing in the same spots they were seeded, first, second and second.

“It’s good to see them step it up and wrestle to their seed,” Titans coach Rob Grumley said. “It got them into the big show. Now, that’s what we have to focus on.”

This is Keenan’s third trip to state and both Gasaway and Schultz are going for their second time. That experience will definitely help.

“I think it’s a big deal for sure,” Grumley said. “Being there before, they’re not going in wide-eyed. We need to focus on one match at a time; the same thing we did here at regionals. If they can capitalize on mistakes and be aggressive, they’ll be able to score points.”

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