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RANGELY I The Rangely Panthers qualified four wrestlers for the 2013 Colorado State Wrestling Championships held last weekend in the Pepsi Center. Senior Colton Coombs, who was a state-qualifier for the third time, finished sixth in the 160-pound 2A bracket. Panther junior Lucas Heinle (145) and sophomore Ethan Allred (152) both won one match in their respective weights and senior Drew Collins wrestled two matches in his first state tournament.
“We had a rough first day, losing all four matches but the second day was better, with Lucas, Ethan and Colton all winning their second match,” first-year Panther head coach Jeff Heinle said. “Colton won his third and fourth matches, getting him in position to place but lost his next two matches to finish sixth.”
Coombs lost in the first round to Joshua Forgey, a senior from Baca County, then defeated seniors Ryan Schoene of Lutheran (9-0), Austin Spears of Arkron (8-3) and sophomore Juan Fraire of Sedgwick County/Fleming before losing to CJ Leonhardt of Yuma (7-8) and Taylor Weirich of Eads (10-15) for a sixth place medal.
“When you lose on the first day, it is super hard to come back and medal, needing to win three matches in a row to get back in the running,” Heinle said. “Colton Coombs had a great season, winning a tournament, placing second three times, third at regionals, sixth at state and seventh at the Tournament of Champions,” Heinle said. “I would say that was a pretty successful senior season. I know Colton would have wanted to finish with a higher place at state but there were 140 wrestlers in 2A that did not place at all.”
Lucas Heinle, who has also wrestled in three state tournaments, and finished sixth as a freshman, won one match but did not place.
“Lucas and Ethan had tough third round matches,” Heinle said. “Lucas lost 5-7 with four seconds left in the match and Ethan lost to former Soroco wrestler Josh Baker.”
Rangely’s other state qualifier was senior Drew Collins, who lost two matches in the 195-pound bracket.
“Drew had a tough tournament, going against the No. 2 seeded wrestler in the first round and losing by decision in the second match,” Heinle said. “Drew had an excellent year for not wrestling in high school until his senior year and still making it to state. If we would have had Drew a year or two earlier, it would have made a huge difference.”
“We had three seniors on our team this year, captain Colton Coombs, Drew Collins and JoD Stults, who was sidelined by a shoulder injury that required surgery,” Heinle said. “State qualifiers Ethan and Lucas will be returning next year along with Heath Peters, Taran Smedly, Ryan Barlow, Caleb Lawson, Josh Bolding and a group of middle school wrestlers that will be a great addition to our program,” Heinle said. “I would like to thank Claude Rose, Derek Stolworthy, Shad Peters and Hank Allred for all of their dedication that they gave the wrestling program and the support the community gave us coming out to support us when they could.”