Preps roundup: Glenwood’s Rosenmerkel, Grand Valley’s Grice win regional wrestling titles, advance to state

Meraz qualifies in 4As for Glenwood, dozen 3A qualifiers from Grand Valley, Coal Ridge, Rifle and Basalt

Glenwood Springs senior wrestler Ray Rosenmerkel won at 138 pounds in the 4A Regionals Saturday to advance to next week’s state championships, as did Grand Valley senior Hayden Grice in the 3A Regionals at 285 pounds.

The two will be joined by 12 other Garfield County and Roaring Fork Valley prep wrestlers at the state championships in Denver next weekend, following the regional qualifiers this past weekend.

Competing in the 4A Region 1 competition at Broomfield High School, Glenwood Springs sophomore Leobardo Meraz also qualified by virtue of a third-place finish by scoring an 11-3 major decision over Riley Belt of Durango.

The top four finishers at regionals for both the 3A and 4A classifications advance to state, according to the Colorado High School Activities Association wrestling bulletin.

Rosenmerkel won the 138-pound division with a 5-4 decision over Manny Lopez of Broomfield. After a round one bye, Rosenmerkel defeated JP Cates of Falcon by fall in 1:25, and in the quarterfinals he scored an 11-2 major decision over Riley Belt of Durango.

In the 132-pound class, Meraz took third with an 11-3 major decision over Chris McGrath of Durango, who had defeated Meraz in the quarterfinals, 8-7. Meraz claimed a consolation round win over Colby Burpo of Eagle Valley, 5-3, then defeated Kasson Miles of Falcon by sudden victory in overtime, 15-13, to advance to the third-place match.

As a team, Glenwood finished 14th out of 14 with 42 points.

Grice leads strong Cardinals contingent to 3A state

Grand Valley’s Hayden Grice will look to improve on his sixth-place finish at the state meet next week, after cruising through the heavyweight competition at the 3A Region 1 qualifier, held Saturday on the campus at Western State University in Gunnison.

Grice won the regional title championship by taking down cross-valley rival Jose Munoz of Basalt by fall in 0:51. He won the quarterfinal round by fall in 2:33 over Treyton Sandoval of Delta, and took just 0:43 to win in the semifinal match over Jordan Cundiff of Bayfield.

Altogether, Grand Valley will send six qualifiers to state, including Jaysen Skeen, who took fourth at 106 pounds; Teagan Jacobs, third at 113 pounds; Aydan Fisher, fourth at 152 pounds; Dominic Mendoza, third at 160 pounds; and Brayden Harper, fourth at 220 pounds.

In the lightweights division, Skeen won the fourth place match over Mars Hunter of Bayfield by fall in 3:48. Skeen lost the third-place match to Talon Kibler of Gunnison by fall in 4:39, but earned an a big consolation semifinal win over Lee Higgins of Rifle fall 1:33 to keep his chances alive.

At 113 pounds, Jacobs took the third-place match by medical forfeit over a Bayfield wrestler. He lost to Dempsey Gibbs of Alamosa in the semifinals, 6-1, and defeated Colt Call of Moffat County in the consolation semis by fall in 2:17.l

At 152 pounds, fourth place went to Fisher, who defeated Brandon Short of Coal Ridge by fall in 2:53. Short missed out on a trip to state after wrestling strong through the consolation bracket, but dropping the third place match to Dante Gonzales of Alamosa by fall in 2:26.

At 160 pounds, Grand Valley’s Mendoza took third with a win over Rifle’s Levi Miller by fall in 2:59. Miller advanced for the Bears by virtue of the fourth place finish.

Mendoza won the quarterfinal match over Joseph Avila of Delta by fall in 2:53, but lost the semifinal to Heath Fulbright of Pagosa Springs on a 9-4 decision, battling back in the consolation semis to take down Layton Morrison of Steamboat Springs in 3:57.

At 220 pounds, the Cardinals’ Harper claimed fourth place with a no contest win over Omar Bernabe of Gunnison to qualify, following a 10-7 decision loss to Angelo Perea of Coal Ridge in the third-place match. Perea will represent Coal Ridge at state.

Grand Valley’s Jordan Cedeno just missed qualifying at 170 pounds, dropping the fourth-place match to David Morehouse of Pagosa Springs by fall in 1:57.

Rifle High School will send two wrestlers to state, including Levi Miller at 160 pounds and Parker Miller at 138 pounds after his 15-6 major decision over Rylin Gallegos of Gunnison to claim fourth. Miller lost the third-place match by fall in 2:20 to Tommy Barker of Pagosa Springs.

In addition to Coal Ridge qualifying Perea at 220 pounds, the Titans’ Cooper Thurmon is in at 126 pounds, where he took fourth place with a no-contest win over Kyle Chaffin of Delta. Thurmon fell in the third-place match in 0:58 to Sage Rockcastle of Alamosa.

In addition to Munoz qualifying at 285 pounds for Basalt, Roaring Fork High School senior Brady Samuelson qualified at 182 pounds with a no-contest win over Derek Carter of Pagosa Springs.

Grand Valley was the top team finisher among the area schools at the 3A Regionals, placing sixth.

Boys Basketball

Glenwood Springs 43, Steamboat Springs 42

The Glenwood Springs High School boys just barely survived a fourth-quarter scoring lull Saturday at Steamboat Springs, as the host Sailors went on a 20-2 tear to nearly prevent the upset. But the upset stood, as the Demons escaped with a 43-42 win.

Glenwood had opened a 28-18 lead at the half and was up by a commanding 19 points after three quarters before Steamboat stormed back.

It was sweet redemption for the Demons (8-13 overall, 5-5 in the 4A WSL after the win), following a tough 63-56 loss at home to Eagle Valley on Thursday. Glenwood hosts Palisade on Thursday and closes out the regular season Saturday against Rifle, also at home.

In other boys action this weekend: Coal Ridge 58, Roaring Fork 47; Delta 69, Grand Valley 54; and Palisade 63, Rifle 46

Girls Basketball

Glenwood Springs 39, Steamboat Springs 22

The Lady Demons continued their march to a 4A Western Slope League title with a 39-22 win on the road at Steamboat Springs on Saturday. Glenwood improves to 15-6 overall and is undefeated at 10-0 in the league. Next up is Palisade on Thursday and Rifle on Saturday, both at home.

Other girls scores this weekend: Grand Valley 63, Rifle 37; Coal Ridge 56, Roaring Fork 29; Delta 65, Grand Valley 53; and Palisade 48, Rifle 41.

Hockey scores: Glenwood Springs 4, Aspen 3 (Avner Mangeot 2; Ross Barlow 1; Kaleb Holm 1); Crested Butte 2, Glenwood Springs 1 (Ross Barlow).

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or

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