Crawford wins two at state tournament

MEEKER I Cowboy sophomore JR Crawford won two matches at the Colorado State Wrestling Championships last weekend in the Denver Pepsi Center and was one win away from getting into the medal round.
“He was disappointed he didn’t place but he had a good season,” head coach Joe Gutierrez said of his 189-pounder. “He was giving up a lot of weight (Crawford weights about 172) but he stepped it up.”
Crawford qualified as a regional runner-up and won his first match against senior Levi Campfield of Wray, 10-8 in overtime. Crawford was pinned in the quarterfinal round by undefeated (35-0) freshman Johnny Loflin of Baca County, who went on to finish fifth in the 189-pound bracket.
Crawford then recorded a major decision (11-2) over senior Ryan Mangum of Mountain Valley in the quarterfinal round of the consolation bracket, before getting pinned by Colton Wyatt of Ignacio at the buzzer, ending the second period and Crawford’s season.
“I’m glad he’s not content,” Gutierrez said. “Hopefully he’ll get in the weight room and get more mat time this summer. It would be fun to watch him wrestle on Saturday night (state finals) in the next couple of years.”
Gutierrez is also hoping freshman qualifier J.C. Henderson makes it to the state finals in the next three years.
Henderson finished fourth at the regional tournament at 112-pounds, which matched him up against regional champion Seth Harrington of Sedgwick in the first round of the state tournament.
“He hit a No. 1 seed right off the bat but wrestled pretty good with him,” Gutierrez said.
Henderson dropped into the consolation bracket and lost 3-4 to Devon Torgerson of Fowler, ending his first high school season.
“J.C.’s second match was close and he gained a lot of experience,” Gutierrez said. “Hopefully, he too will be wrestling out there on Saturday night in the next three years.”
Gutierrez hopes all his wrestlers will put in the extra time in the weight room and on the wrestling mat to qualify more wrestlers for the next year’s state tournament, as Meeker had no seniors on the team this year and all will be back next year.
“There is a saying, ‘summer-time wrestling makes winter-time champions,’” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez said one of the highlights was getting to visit with 2008 Olympic champion Henry Cejudo and his brother Angel before Friday’s semifinal round. The Cejudo brothers each came to Meeker to host wrestling clinics in the past and both are residents of the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, preparing for the 2012 summer Olympics.
Gutierrez was thankful to his assistant coach Lee Overton.
“It’s fun working with Lee, he’s a great assistant,” Gutierrez said of the former state wrestling champion. “The kids really respect him. He’s the head coach at the middle school and helps bring the program along.”

MEEKER I Cowboy sophomore JR Crawford won two matches at the Colorado State Wrestling Championships last weekend in the Denver Pepsi Center and was one win away from getting into the medal round.“He was disappointed he didn’t place but he had a good season,” head coach Joe Gutierrez said of his 189-pounder. “He was giving up a lot of weight (Crawford weights about 172) but he stepped it up.”Crawford qualified as a regional runner-up and won his first match against senior Levi Campfield of Wray, 10-8 in overtime. Crawford was pinned in the quarterfinal round by undefeated (35-0) freshman Johnny Loflin of Baca County, who went on to finish fifth in the 189-pound bracket.Crawford then recorded a major decision (11-2) over senior Ryan Mangum of Mountain Valley in the quarterfinal round of the consolation bracket, before getting pinned by Colton Wyatt of Ignacio at the buzzer, ending the second period and Crawford’s season.“I’m glad he’s not content,” Gutierrez said. “Hopefully he’ll get in the weight room and get more mat time this summer. It would be fun to watch him wrestle on Saturday night (state finals) in the next couple of years.”Gutierrez is also hoping freshman qualifier J.C. Henderson makes it to the state finals in the next three years.Henderson finished fourth at the regional tournament at 112-pounds, which matched him up against regional champion Seth Harrington of Sedgwick in the first round of the state tournament.“He hit a No. 1 seed right off the bat but wrestled pretty good with him,” Gutierrez said.Henderson dropped into the consolation bracket and lost 3-4 to Devon Torgerson of Fowler, ending his first high school season.“J.C.’s second match was close and he gained a lot of experience,” Gutierrez said. “Hopefully, he too will be wrestling out there on Saturday night in the next three years.”Gutierrez hopes all his wrestlers will put in the extra time in the weight room and on the wrestling mat to qualify more wrestlers for the next year’s state tournament, as Meeker had no seniors on the team this year and all will be back next year.“There is a saying, ‘summer-time wrestling makes winter-time champions,’” Gutierrez said.Gutierrez said one of the highlights was getting to visit with 2008 Olympic champion Henry Cejudo and his brother Angel before Friday’s semifinal round. The Cejudo brothers each came to Meeker to host wrestling clinics in the past and both are residents of the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, preparing for the 2012 summer Olympics.Gutierrez was thankful to his assistant coach Lee Overton.“It’s fun working with Lee, he’s a great assistant,” Gutierrez said of the former state wrestling champion. “The kids really respect him. He’s the head coach at the middle school and helps bring the program along.”