DENVER — The Rocky Ford High School wrestling team went to the Class 2A State Tournament this past weekend at the Pepsi Center with 14 state qualifiers and a hope of repeating as state champions.
The Meloneers had three individual champions; however, they finished in third place in the standings.
Wray easily won the state title with 197 1/2 points, and Paonia was a distant second with 147. Rocky Ford scored 136 1/2, and Cedaredge was fourth with 118.
"Wray had a phenomenal tournament and you have to tip your hat to them and also to Paonia," said Rocky coach Mike Jurney. "The way these seniors finished with three state championships, I'll take it all day long. It was beautiful to send those guys out that way. I'm really happy."
The Meloneers' championships were won by Carlos Romo (145), Diego Reyes (160), and Greg Garcia (285).
Romo won championship with 10-1 major decision Clay Campbell of Paonia. He scored a takedown in the first period and then he recorded an escape, a takedown and a 3-point near fall in the second to take an 8-0 lead.
Romo had another takedown in the third period. Campbell recorded an escape to prevent him from being shut out, but Romo held on for the victory.
Reyes' championship came with a 7-2 decision over Aiden Dabal of Norwood.
The first period was scoreless, but Reyes started in the bottom position to begin the second. He started the scoring with an escape and he then recorded a takedown. Dabal recorded an escape, but Reyes got another takedown for a 5-1 lead at the end of the period.
Dabal had another escape in the third, but Reyes answered with another takedown. He then ran out the clock for the victory.
Reyes was also named the Class 2A Outstanding Wrestler.
Garcia won his championship with a 3-2 decision over Ken Cox of County Line. There was no scoring in the first period, but Garcia recorded an escape for the only point of the second. Cox also escaped to begin the third period, but Garcia answered with a takedown. Cox escaped again, but there was no further scoring.
Three other Meloneers were place winners. Joziah Maestas took foutrth place at 113, Jesse Tapia was fifth at 170, and Dillon Jaramillo was sixth at 113.
The remaining Rocky wrestlers saw Santino Mendoza (126), Dylan Miell (132), Simon Apodaca (220), Isiah Garcia (138) and Jaden Baldonado (152) all advancing to the third round of consolation before being eliminated. Michael Maldonado (106) and Eziquiel Raso (182) were eliminated in second round consolation, and Angel Estrada (195) eliminated in the first round consolation,
"We have some guys who hopefully know what it takes to get up on top of that podium as well," Jurney said. "I'm looking forward to it."
With its title, Wray tied Rocky Ford for the most state championships in Colorado history with 12 apiece. Jurney said it will be difficult to get another championship next year.
"Wray's super young," Jurney said. "They have only one senior on their team. So they're going to be the team to beat for quite some time."
Fowler finished in fifth place with 91 1/2 points. The Grizzlies had four state placers, which includes two individual champions.
Seth McFall won the 106-pound championship with a 14-3 major decsion over Max Salazar of Sanford.
McFall took a 6-1 lead after the first period and he extended the lead to 8-1 after the second. McFall sealed the championship by scoring six more points in the third.
Dahlton McGhee was the 195-pound champion after a 7-2 decision over Devin Curtis of Hotchkiss.
McGhee had two takedowns in the first period for a 4-1 lead and he increased the lead to 7-2 after the second. There was no scoring in the third.
McGhee finished the season undefeated with 42 wins and no losses.
The remaining two Grizzly placers are Tyson Martinez, who was third at 182, and Tyler Mullins, who was sixth at 285.
The rest of the Fowler wrestlers saw Dylan Palomino (145) and Chantz Lange (152) eliminated in the third round of consolation; Fernando Salazar (113) and J.J. Horn (220) eliminated in the second round of consolation; and Thomas Goeritz (160) and Seth Damgaard (170) were eliminated in the first round consolation.
County Line finished in sixth place with 83 points. The Rivals had a single champion in Trevor Randel, who won the 152-pound championship with a 4-3 decision over Kobryn Mann of Sedgwick County/Fleming.
Mann took a 2-0 lead after the first period, but Randel tied the score at 2-2 after the first period.
Randel recorded a takedown in the third, but Mann escaped. Mann attempted several attempts at a takedown, but time expired.
Other than Cox's second-place finish at 285, the Rivals had two more state placers. Jayce Bauer was third at 220, and Dawson Roesch was fourth at 182.
The remaining Rivals saw Jaime Ibarra (170) eliminated in the second round consolation, and Aiden Michael (132) and Sam Wollert (138) both eliminated in the first round consolation.
Crowley County tied for 22nd with 23 points and the Chargers had one placer in Jared Bauer, who was fourth at 145.
The remaining Chargers saw Adam Schultz (160) and Tanner Howells (126) both eliminated in the third round of consolation; while Isaiah Camacho (113) Jaden Harris (138), Ryan Rivera (152), and Cannon Buford (220) all eliminated in the first round of consolation.
Swink was 26th with 21 1/2 points and two Lions were place winners in Michael Romero, who was fifth at 106, and Kaleb Fisher, who was sixth at 145.
The rest of the Lions, Matthew Mendoza (126), Aaron Oliver (170), and Justin Tucker (285) were all eliminated in the first round of consolation.
Las Animas went scoreless as its only state qualifier, Jacob Davis (170), was eliminated in the first round of consolation.