Prep state wrestling tournament pairings released |

Prep state wrestling tournament pairings released

The first-round pairings for the 67th annual state wrestling tournament have been released by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

Nine wrestlers from two area schools have advanced from last weekend’s regional tournaments to the three-day event, which opens Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Rifle High School, currently the state’s No. 7 team in Class 4A according to the weekly “On The Mat” state poll, has qualified eight wrestlers.

Ryan Whittington, one of Rifle’s two regional champions after last weekend’s regional tournament in Montrose, has earned a high seed in the 4A, 171-pound bracket.

The Bear senior, who lost once in 34 matches this season, opens the state meet against Joel Graff, a junior from Colorado Springs Mesa Ridge.

Shanon Squires (31-6), Rifle’s other regional champ, has also drawn a high seed from CHSAA’s wrestling committee.

He will face Javier Quintana (32-4) from Adams City in the first round.

Sophomore Cody Ward (23-10), the No. 9 wrestler in the 112-pound state polls has drawn a state-ranked opponent in the first round in Fort Lupton’s Marques Bravo (28-9).

Jesse Long (22-14), who battled back from the consolation bracket at regionals to the 145-pound championship match, opens the tournament against Robert Umland (23-14), a senior from Colorado Springs’ Sand Creek.

Ryan Shoeppner (27-10), the No. 5, 152-pounder in the state, duels his unranked Matt Schmitt (28-13), of Colorado Springs Cheyenne Mountain in the first round.

Nick Bosworth (17-17) has drawn Clayton Allen from Widefield for his first-round opponent. Allen is the 4A’s No. 1 wrestler at 160 pounds, and brings a perfect 38-0 to the big show.

In the 189-pound division junior Anthony Alfini (30-8) wrestles Brandon Marshall (26-7), a senior from Monument Lewis-Palmer in the the first round.

Basalt, a Class 3A school, advanced one wrestler from last weekend’s Western Regional meet at Palisade High School.

Gavin Crowley of Basalt (15-1), a third-place regional medalist, has drawn La Junta senior Kristo Layla (21-7) in the first round of the 3A, 215-pound tournament.

The state tournament gets under way on Thursday with first-round matches for Class 2A and 3A schools at 3 p.m.

After clearing the house, first-round matches involving Class 4A and 5A teams take to the mats at 7:15 p.m.

On Friday, Championship quarterfinal matches in Class 2A and 3A will start at 10 a.m., with first-round consolation matches following after the last quarterfinal match.

The Class 4A and 5A teams will follow the same pattern that afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m. with the championship quarterfinals.

After clearing the house, the evening session centers on second-round consolations. Action starts at 5:45 p.m. for the small schools, with 4A and 5A consolation matches scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Friday’s action concludes with the championship semifinals in all classes at 7:15 p.m.

Third-round and semifinal consolation matches in all classes will be held Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Third and fifth places follow as mats become available.

Once those matches have finished, the doors will be closed, then re-open at 5:30 p.m. for ticketholders to the championship finals.

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