Thirteen prep wrestlers advance to state meet
Instead of coming mostly from one area high school as in years past, this year’s group of prep wrestlers who advanced to this week’s state championships at the Pepsi Center in Denver is more diverse.
Thirteen wrestlers, representing the three area high schools that field wrestling teams, qualified for the three-day state meet, which opens Thursday afternoon.
The 13 state qualifiers attend seven different Western Slope high schools.
Class 4A Rifle High School sends over the largest contingent to state with six wrestlers advancing out of Saturday’s Region 3 tournament at Broomfield High School.
Rodney Long and Casie Dunlap earned regional titles on wins in the championship match at 125 and 152 pounds, respectively.
Long decisioned Broomfield’s Brad Nietenbach 11-5 in his championship match. Dunlap earned his second trip to state with a third-period pin of Vinny Marone of Broomfield in 4 minutes, 52 seconds.
In the 119-pound championship, Rifle’s Luke Wooten was pinned by Derek Brewer of Delta in 3:38.
Bear senior Eddie Kreimier earned third-place in the 103-pound division with a 11-3 major decision over Levi Weber of Moffat County. A major decision involves any win by 6 points or more. Two Rifle wrestlers ” Tyson Thompson and Jesse Long ” finished fourth at 112 and 160 pounds.
As a team, Rifle finished fifth in tournament standings with 153 points. Moffat County, the defending 4A state champions, won the regional tournament with 266 points to Broomfield’s 250.5.
In the 3A, Region 1 tournament at Montrose High School, the Basalt Longhorns came out of the two-day tournament with its first individual regional champion in four years and qualified four wrestlers for state.
Mike Zerfoss, a sophomore at Glenwood Springs High School, won the regional heavyweight title by pinning Kyle Robbins of Gunnison in 3:27. Zerfoss advanced his way through the eight-person division on a 5-0, first-round win against Lewis Robmershuver of Eagle Valley and a pin of Olathe’s Brent Stanfield in the semifinals.
Another GSHS student, Matt Aten, finished as the region’s 140-pound runner-up by defeating Jeff Griener of Middle Park and Eagle Valley’s Chris Best. Aten lost a 6-3 decision in the championship match to Hotchkiss’s Billy Keating.
Seniors Kaleb Nye and Garrett Jammaron, injured most of the year, returned to the mat and won fourth place at 160 and 189 pounds, respectively.
Nye upped his overall win-loss record to 8-7 with victories over Tony Wigginton from Buena Vista and Middle Park’s Clayton Brossant. Advancing to the third-place match with Eagle Valley’s Brendon Best, Nye fell short, losing a 5-4 decision to the Gypsum wrestler.
Jammaron, a student at Carbondale’s Roaring Fork High, started the tournament with a 14-3 major decision win over Charles Faulhaber of Eagle Valley.
After losing his next match to Olathe’s Tom Krutzer in overtime, Jammaron fought back to the third-place match by pinning Cory Watkins from Hotchkiss to seal his spot in Denver. Jammaron was pinned in the third-place match by Middle Park’s Will Soles.
Grand Valley, competing in the 2A, Region 1 tournament at Grand Junction High School, has three state qualifiers.
Senior Jesse Neely earned his second straight trip to the big show by pinning Clay Culbreath of Kremmling West Grand in the 112-pound third-place match.
Chanse Brackett, a student at DeBeque High School, and Parker Adkins finished fourth in the 171- and 189-pound tournaments, respectively.
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