Cowboys win Rangely tourney

HALF-NELSON ... Cowboy senior Ty Gibson uses a half-nelson to turn and eventually pin his Rifle opponent last week, in front a large hometown crowd. Gibson pinned two more opponents on his way into the 152-pound championship of the Vern Rose Memorial tournament in Rangely last Saturday, where he finished second to the state’s No. 2 ranked Jace Logan from Soroco in the finals. Gibson and the Cowboys, who beat Rifle, won the Vern Rose Memorial and are currently ranked No. 2 by On the Mat Rankings, will be challenged this weekend, wrestling No. 3 Hotchkiss and No. 4 Nucla/Norwood, Friday in dual matches then compete in the Screaming’ Eagle tournament, Saturday, which will host Paonia, currently ranked No. 5 in 2A. Bobby Gutierrez photo

MEEKER | The 2A defending state wrestling champion Meeker Cowboys, whipped the 3A Rifle Bears at home last Thursday, then won the team title in the third annual Vern Rose Memorial tournament in Rangely last Saturday. Meeker will wrestle in a triangular against Hotckhiss and Norwood Friday in Hotchkiss, then wrestle in the Screamin’ Eagle tournament in Paonia Saturday.
“We had another big crowd for the Rifle dual,” Meeker head coach J.C. Watt said. “It’s nice to see all the community support for our kids.”
The Cowboys did not disappoint the fans as they pinned the Bears 61-12, then went to Rangely and placed 12 of 14 varsity wrestlers in the top four, including six champions.
“It was a good tournament and we got a lot of good matches for our kids,” coach Watt said.
Jacob Pelloni (113), Tannen Kennedy (126), Sheridan Harvey (138), defending state champion Casey Turner (170), Chase Rule (182) and Caleb Bradford (220) all won gold medals in the Vern Rose Memorial tournament. Christopher Strate (132), Ty Gibson (152), Cody Nielsen (160), Ridge Williams (195) and Tyler Ilgen (285) were all runners-up, while Hunter Garcia was the consolation champion at 145. and freshman Colton Wille (106) finished fourth.
Meeker JV wrestlers Kasey Rosendahl (132) and James Amick (170) both finished third, while Colton Wille (113) and Brayden Woodward both placed fourth.
“Everybody wrestled well in Rangely,” coach Watt said. “We are back on track and where we need to be.”
The Cowboys, currently ranked No. 2 behind Rocky Ford in 2A, will find out more where they stand after this weekend, as several ranked regional teams, including No. 3 Hotchkiss, No. 4 Norwood/Nucla, No. 5 Paonia and No. 8 Igancio, will all be in attendance at the Screamin’ Eagle tournament.
“Almost every team in our region will be there, so it will be a good preview of the regional tournament,” coach Watt said. “There will be lots of good matches and good team competition.