Two Cardinals head to 2A tourney
FRUITA – Both Grand Valley and Coal Ridge High School got what they asked for at this weekend’s Class 2A, Region 1 wrestling tournament – along with a little bit more.The Cardinals were looking to add to their 4-year string of qualifying one wrestler to the 2A state tournament in Denver. Instead, this year they’ll have two grapplers heading to the Pepsi Center this Thursday.Third-place wins by Cody Miles and Justin Busch guaranteed both Cardinal wrestlers spots in first-round matches at 140 and 145 pounds in Thursday’s opening-day of the three-day tournament, which finishes Saturday. Miles earned his second trip to the big show with a victory over Josh Galloway of Dolores in the third-place match. The top four placers from each of the 14 weight classes at regionals advance to the state tournament.Busch’s win had the most drama of any area wrestler in the tournament.Deadlocked at 2-2 with opponent Mikey Swigart, Busch snared a 4-2 win over the Delores wrestler with a point-scoring takedown at the buzzer.”I just had a feeling that I was going to win,” Busch said. “(Swigart) is a smart, tough wrestler, and I had to wrestle smart to beat him.”Results from consolation matches involving Cardinal wrestlers in upper weight divisions Saturday were unavailable at press time. Coal Ridge just wanted to gain big tournament competition experience for the future.Some good performances also put Coal Ridge’s Jesse Saenz and Travis McCain in position to contend for state meet berths.Both wrestlers lost to more experienced opponents in third-place semifinal matches.Saenz, wrestling at 112 pounds, lost to Stephan Boleng of Rangely. McCain lost by technical fall to Grand Valley’s Cody Miles.”I’m proud of the kids. For them to go up against veteran kids and keep their heads up … It’s a start to build on,” said Titans coach Rob Grumbley.
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