Kennedy wins Warrior Classic

Like the Olympics, when awards are presented at the Warrior Classic, the champion is announced first so they can stand atop the podium the longest. Last Saturday, Meeker senior Tannen Kennedy got to enjoy the experience after winning the 145-pound bracket of the prestigious tournament. Kennedy defeated Cameron Lucero of Pagosa Springs 12-11 in arguably the most exciting championship match wrestled in Saturday’s finals to win his first Warrior title.
BOBBY GUTIERREZ PHOTO

MEEKER | The championship match of the 40th annual Warrior Classic, in the 145-pound bracket featured two Colorado state runners-up: Tannen Kennedy of the 2A Meeker Cowboys and Cameron Lucero of the 3A Pagosa Springs Pirates, with the two wrestling like it was a state championship match.

The match started with both wrestlers throwing near-side cradles from their feet, then ended with Kennedy using the near-side cradle to score back points, to come from behind in the third period and win his first Warrior title with a 12-11 decision.

“Tannen wrestled smart,” Meeker head coach J.C. Watt said of his only Warrior placer. “You can tell by  the way he wrestles, he’s put in a lot of time. The years of working hard, lifting, traveling and wrestling in the offseason, are paying off for him.”

Kennedy was the only Cowboy to place in the Warrior but others did win matches including Charles Curry (126) and Colby Clatterbaugh, who each won two matches before being eliminated. Dax Sheridan (160) and James Amick (182), each won a match in their bracket.

Senior Zach McCann (126), Cooper Main (152) and Ridge Williams (195) did not win a match in the Warrior, which features more than 40 teams from five states, including a team from South Carolina and from all classifications.

The Warrior was won by the Grand Junction Tigers for a third year in a row, with Rocky Mountain placing second, host Central of Grand Junction was third and Uintah (Vernal, Utah) finished fourth.

The Cowboys, who placed 24th in the Warrior, wrestled a dual in Cedaredge the night before the Warrior and lost to the second ranked 2A Bruins 40-29. The Cowboys won four (Kennedy, Main, Clatterbaugh and Amick) of the eight matches wrestled but gave up too many forfeits.

A dozen Meeker JV wrestlers competed in a varsity tournament in West Grand and although the Cowboys did not crown any champions, several earned medals. Rowdy Rosendahl (98) and Kesston Hobbs (182) both placed second, while Owen Hannomen (98) and Brayden Woodward (170) finished as consolation champs and Trinden Powell placed fourth in the 138-pound bracket.

The Cowboys will wrestle in Eagle Valley when they return from Christmas break.

By BOBBY GUTIERREZ | Special to the Herald Times