Rifle’s Rowley 5th, Grand Valley’s Grice 6th at 3A state wrestling meet
Basalt’s Samuelson takes 4th in weight class
Garfield County’s two representatives at the 3A State High School Wrestling Championships in Pueblo this weekend claimed fifth and sixth places in their respective weight classifications.
Rifle High School senior Bryce Rowley battled back through the 138-pound consolation bracket Friday to score a 13-2 major decision win over Spencer Nuttall from Strasburg.
For Grand Valley junior heavyweight Hayden Grice, the fifth-place match proved elusive, as Lane Weimer, a sophomore from Platte Valley, won their matchup by fall in 3:11.
Rowley had entered the state championships at 23-2 on the season hoping to improve upon his junior-year appearance when he bowed out in the early rounds.
He hung with 21-7 sophomore Paxton Daggett of University in the opening match Friday for 2:21 before Daggett earned the win by fall.
Wrestling for a chance at third place, Rowley then scored a 10-0 major decision over Moffat County senior Blake Juergens.
The next match against Valley senior Zach Brown ended in a victory for Brown by technical fall at 5 minutes, 18-2. Rowley was superior in the fifth-place match, though.
The Cardinals’ Grice entered state at 20-4 on the season with hopes of bettering his sixth-place finish as a sophomore in 2020.
After a tough battle in the opening match that ended in a 5:54 fall to University senior Sebastian Cortez, Grice won in consolation over James Sanchez of Alamosa, recording the fall in 1:36.
Grice still had a shot at third place, but lost the tiebreaker 5-1 to Aiden Trujillo from Valley, dropping him to the fifth-place match.
Watch Hayden wrestle at state (courtesy Grand Valley Wrestling):
Meanwhile, Basalt senior wrestler Ruben Samuelson, who attends Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale, had the best shot at a top-three finish among the local wrestlers at state in the 195-pound class.
Samuelson (17-3 coming in) won his opening match over Manitou Springs sophomore Wesley Reeves by a 3-0 decision.
A 6-3 loss to Severance sophomore Colby Runner, however, sent Samuelson to the third-place bracket where he wasted little time giving himself a shot at bronze.
Samuelson took down Strasburg senior Blake Coombs in 40 seconds, setting up a third-place rematch with Reeves. This time it was Reeves on the winning side of a fall in 4:12, and Samuelson settled for fourth. It was a step up from his third-round consolation loss at 170 pounds in his junior year.
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