Meeker wrestlers head to regional tournament

MEEKER — Parents and other wrestling fans were part of a large crowd at the Cowboys’ final regular season dual meet last Friday against Coal Ridge. The Cowboys wrestled the Grand Valley Cardinals the night before. Meeker will compete in the state-qualifying regional tournament this weekend in Palisade.
“I’m glad parent night went so well, we appreciate all the support the parents have given us all year,” head coach Joe Gutierrez said. “Hopefully, we keep building the program and keep filling the gym.”
The Cowboys won four of 10 matches against last year’s 2A state champion Cardinals, and won four of five matches wrestled on their home mat against the Titans.
“We wrestled a lot better than we did against Hayden,” Gutierrez said of the dual against the Cardinals, who moved up a division this year and are currently ranked No. 4 in 3A.
Seniors Aaron Webster (189) and Matt Moody (112) both pinned their Cardinal opponents, as did freshman Ean Barrow (119) and senior Jared Doll won in overtime at 135.
Against the Titans Webster and Barrow both recorded pins again, as did senior Clint Sampson in the 130-pound weight class and junior Pat Love (152) put his opponent on his back twice before pinning him.
“The seniors realize they have to step it up and make things happen,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez will be counting on his seniors to led the effort to qualify as many wrestlers as possible for the Colorado State Wrestling Championships the following week in Denver.
“I’m hoping the seniors will pull together and not only perform at their highest level but get their younger teammates motivated to make the all expense paid trip over the mountains.”
Moody placed fourth at the state tournament, wrestling for Palisade as a sophomore. Doll and Sampson have state experience and both were one match away from placing last year.
The regional tournament, which will feature top ranked Paonia, No. 5 Rangely, No. 6 Norwood and No. 7 Ignaciao, (according to On the Mat Rankings) will qualify the top four wrestlers in each weight for the state tournament.
“We are in a tough region,” Gutierrez said.
The first round of the regional tournament will begin at 6 p.m. Friday and at 10 a.m. Saturday at Palisade High School.