Rangely’s grapplers improving; four of eight wrestlers place at tourney

RANGELY I The annual Vern Rose Memorial Wrestling Tournament was held in Rangely on Saturday and RHS Panther coach Travis Witherell was pleased with his team’s continued improvement.

The Panthers mat men placed with half of their eight varsity wrestlers, including a runner-up and two consolation champs.
“I thought our guys had an excellent showing at home,” coach Witherell said. “I saw so much improvement this week. We are beginning to tie everything together, and it’s starting to click for everyone.”
Rangely’s Caleb Lawson continues to improve. After a third-place finish at the Tournament of Champions the week before, Lawson finished second in the 160-pound bracket in the Vern Rose Memorial tournament. Lawson pinned three opponents and lost a close match to Meeker’s Chase Rule in the championship.
Panther C.J. Lucero won three matches, including one in double overtime and finished third in the 113-pound bracket.
Nych Deleon also won three matches, including two by pin fall, and he, too, finished as a consolation champion in the 152-pound bracket.
Senior Kiki Ruiz won two matches, including one in overtime and finished fifth in the 170-pound bracket.
Grady Nielson (138) and Jessy Powell (145) each won a match in their respective brackets while Landon Rowley (126) and Tristan Moore (132) did not.
“I’m super proud of how everyone wrestled, and I’m excited to keep progressing as we get closer to regionals,” coach Witherell said.
The Panthers will wrestle in the competitive Screaming Eagle tournament in Paonia on Saturday.
“We will have tons of big matches this weekend,” he said. “That could really affect us at the regional tournament, so we are going to have to turn it on!”