Cowboys qualify four for state tourney

Cowboy senior Ethan Overton qualified, for the “Big Show” for the first time, in the 195-pound bracket. Wrestling starts today at 3 p.m. in the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver.

Cowboy senior Ethan Overton qualified, for the “Big Show” for the first time, in the 195-pound bracket. Wrestling starts today at 3 p.m. in the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver.
MEEKER I After qualifying in the regional tournament, four Cowboy wrestlers will travel to Denver to compete in the annual Colorado State Wrestling Championships, starting today in the Pepsi Center.
“It was a tough regional,” first-year head coach J.C. Watt said of the competition held last weekend at Grand Junction Central High School. The Cowboys finished fifth as a team, behind Paonia, who is currently ranked No. 1 in 2A and qualified all 14 of their wrestlers for what is also known as “the Big Show” since all classifications wrestle in the Pepsi Center this weekend. Dove Creek (ranked 10th) finished second, Hayden was third and Norwood finished fourth, seven points ahead of Meeker.
“It was a good team finish for us,” Watt said.
Eleven Cowboys wrestled in the state qualifying regional tournament and five placed in the top four, three finished fifth and one placed sixth.
Senior Justin Hardy was the No. 1 ranked 2A wrestler in the 170-pound bracket and was defeated in the finals by Brent Harris of Norwood who was ranked No. 2 by On the Mat Rankings before the regional meet. Harris, who won the state title at 160 last year, defeated Hardy 9-4 in the championship match.
“Hopefully it was a preview of the state finals only with a different outcome,” Watt said of the two top ranked 170-pounders.
“He’s (Justin) put in a lot of work this year, hopefully it pays of for him,” assistant coach Lee Overton added.
Hardy will be joined in the Pepsi Center by teammates, J.C. Henderson (125), J.R. Crawford (182) and Ethan Overton (195), who all finished fourth in their respective weights.
“It will be the second year for J.C. and J.R. to go and get more experience,” Watt said of the sophomore and junior.
“Ethan has put in four years of work and gets to go to the state tournament,” Watt said of the team’s other senior.
Freshman Tristin Pelloni also finished fourth but lost a wrestle-back and did not qualify. Sophomore Aaron Cochran (132), classmate Willis Begaye (145) and junior Logan Hughes (160) all finished fifth and sophomore Sebastian Clarke (138) placed sixth.
“They all wrestled hard, we just weren’t able to win some close matches,” Watt said. “We need more mat experience and work harder to win those close matches.”
Freshman Kylloe Goedert (112) and sophomore Isaac Robertson (120) both wrestled but did not place.
The first round starts today at 3 p.m. In the Pepsi Center.
“We’re going to go over there and do our best,” Watt said.