Local squads get ready for regionals
Rifle and Glenwood Springs, along with 14 other teams, will be at Montrose High School for the two-day Class 4A Region 3 State-Qualifying Wrestling Tournament starting with today’s preliminaries.The annual regional tournament allows the Rifle wrestling team to show it is still a force to be reckoned with on the Western Slope. For the Demons, it’s just another step in rebuilding the program, which restarted this season.Rifle and Glenwood Springs, along with 14 other teams, will be at Montrose High School for the two-day Class 4A Region 3 State-Qualifying Wrestling Tournament starting with today’s preliminaries. Glenwood head coach Guy Brickell is already pleased with how his first-year program has developed through the season. The Demons finished fourth and fifth in two recent tournaments, both with 17 teams or more.”We’re pretty competitive,” said Brickell, who credited the work of current Glenwood assistant and former Basalt coach Rob Grumley. “We’re not up there yet with Rifle or Moffat County, but I’m pleased with how we’ve done. We have a lot of young kids, and the most exciting thing is most of the team is coming back.”Despite the youth and inexperience, Glenwood does have some grapplers who could extend their seasons an extra week by finishing in the top four at regionals.Heavyweight Mike Zerfoss qualified for state while wrestling for 3A Basalt last season, and Matt Aten is ranked fourth in the state at 152 pounds. Mike Mastriani should also be in the mix at 160 pounds.Rifle typically sends a number of wrestlers to the state tournament and competes for the regional title. This year should be no different, although No. 4 Montrose, No. 6 Moffat County and No. 9 Eagle Valley stand in the way. The Bears boast five wrestlers ranked in the On the Mat poll’s top 10. Luke Wooten is No. 3 at 125, and Casie Dunlap, despite battling injuries this season, is No. 4 at 171. Other Rifle wrestlers in the top 10 include No. 7 Tyler Thompson (130), No. 8 Timmy Long (135) and No. 8 Andy Stone (heavyweight).Spectators will be allowed in the gym at 1 p.m. for opening-round matches that start at 2 p.m. Second-round championship and consolation matches are on the slate for 5 p.m. Action resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with championship semifinal and consolation bouts. All-Tournament passes are available for purchase at the gate Friday. Cost is $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. The top four wrestlers from each weight division advance to next week’s state championship tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver.Class 4A Region 3 Wrestling Tournamentat Montrose High SchoolFirst Round: Friday, 2 p.m.Championship matches: Saturday, 6 p.m.Rifle wrestlers in Class 4A top 10: No. 3, Luke Wooten (125); No. 4 Casie Dunlap (171); No. 7 Tyler Thompson (130); No. 8 Timmy Long (135); No. 8 Andy Stone (heavyweight).Glenwood wrestler in Class 4A top 10: No. 4 Matt Aten (152).
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