MEEKER I The Meeker High School wrestling Cowboys easily won the Vern Rose Memorial Wrestling Tournament in Rangely on Saturday, and this week the squad will wrestle in the Screaming Eagle Wrestling Tournament in Paonia, which will feature five of the top six 2A teams in Colorado.
“It was a good confidence-builder for us, going into a tough week,” Meeker head coach J.C. Watt said of the Vern Rose Memorial.
Of the 13 varsity wrestlers, Meeker crowned nine champions and finished with two runners-up, scoring 269 points to win the team title. Overall, the Cowboys wrestled 47 varsity matches and won 41 of them, including 35 by pin fall.
Tannen Kennedy (120), Sheridan Harvey (126), Hunter Garcia (145), Casey Turner (152), Chase Rule (160), T.J. Shelton (170), Devon Pontine (182), Dillon Frantz (195) and Tyler Ilgen (285), all won individual titles, while Jacob Pelloni (106) and Caleb Bradford (220) both made the finals but finished second.
Shelton and Pontine both finished with five pins each while Kennedy, Harvey and Frantz all finished with four pins.
Sammy Palmer won a match in the 138-pound bracket and Christopher Strate found the competition tough in the 132-pound bracket, as did junior varsity wrestlers Kasey Rosendahl (120) and Daylon Nielson (145).
The Meeker Cowboys will wrestle dual meets against Norwood/Nucla, currently ranked No. 4 in 2A by On the Mat Rankings, and Hotchkiss, currently ranked No. 5, on Friday in Hotchkiss.
Meeker, currently ranked No. 3, will enter the Screaming Eagle Wrestling Tournament on Saturday in Paonia. That tournament will also feature No. 2-ranked Centauri and No. 6-ranked Paonia. Defending state champion Rocky Ford, currently ranked No. 1 in the state, will not be in attendance.
“This will be a good preview of the regional tournament,” coach Watt said.