The weight is over: Glenwood snaps long drought against Palisade
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The ability of the wrestlers on Glenwood Springs High School’s wrestling team to move up a weight class on Thursday brought an end to a long wait for the program.
Glenwood moved eight of the wrestlers on its roster up a weight class against the Bulldogs inside the GSHS auxiliary gymnasium, and the move paid off to the tune of a 39-28 dual-meet victory. According to Glenwood head coach Guy Brickell and assistant coach Miles Cook, it’s the first time the Demons have beaten the Bulldogs in a dual meet since the school’s wrestling program was resurrected 11 years ago.
“And we were the only ones who knew that,” said Brickell, who was grinning ear-to-ear long after the mats had been rolled up and put away. “This was a total team effort tonight by everyone. For eight of them to step up and go up a weight class, that’s a big sacrifice.”
What’s more, the Demons had just come off a third-place finish at the Evergreen Invitational this past Saturday where Palisade came away with the tournament title by 30 points. But the Demons prevailed on Thursday, in part moving up weight classes to fill each weight while taking advantage of matchups that they felt fell in their favor.
“We did that solely to beat Palisade,” said sophomore Myles Wilson, Class 4A’s second-ranked wrestler at 152 pounds who easily won his match at 160. “It’s because we have some kids at some weights where we could get some forfeits too, but it was mainly so that we could fill every weight and get the points where we needed them.”
Overall, Palisade and Glenwood split victories down the middle with each team winning seven matches. Glenwood came away with more points in their victories, though, getting pins from Larry Flores (132 pounds), Irvin Pallares (138), Cristian Gonzalez (195), Felix Cano (113) and Juan Felan (120). Flores, Pallares, Cano, Wilson, Riley Prough (126), Edgar Carbajal (170), Jose Diaz (182) and Gerry Viveros (heavyweight) each moved up a weight class, with Cano adding to the Demons’ victory total.
Ironically, however, the decisive match came from a Glenwood wrestler who didn’t move up a weight class, but moved down.
Felan, a sophomore wrestling in the second-to-last match of the dual against Palisade’s Dillon Abeyta, had been wrestling at 126 pounds prior to Thursday night’s match. He moved back down to 120 when Prough moved up from his usual weight class, then came away with what turned out to be the decisive pin at the 2 minute, 51 second mark of the match.
With Prough suffering a 7-5 overtime loss against Palisade’s Austin Bernal, Felan’s win by pin helped solidify the scoring in the Demons’ favor.
Gonzalez, the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class, pinned Drake Buford in 27 seconds to improve to 29-0. Wilson moved to 27-1 with his technical-fall win against Isaac Maestas in 1:43, and Prough dropped to 27-2 with his loss. Cano (22-7), Diaz (20-9) and Flores (19-9) have also been exceptional this season.
Also on Thursday, Glenwood picked up a 78-6 win against the Summit Tigers. Glenwood earned seven victories by forfeit, with on-mat wins including Diaz beating Drew Chastain by pin at 170 pounds and Flores pinning Michael Barton in 5:43 at 132. Each of the Demons’ wins against the Tigers were either by win or forfeit.
Glenwood will wrestle again Saturday in the Rumble in the Rockies Dual Tournament at Rifle High School. Also competing in the tournament will be Garfield County schools Grand Valley, Coal Ridge and, of course, the host Rifle Bears. Action is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament Saturday.