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MEEKER — “It was our first outing and our younger kids got their eyes opened to what high school wrestling is all about,” Meeker High School wrestling coach Joe Gutierrez said.
The Cowboys wrestled duals against Hotchkiss and Cedaredge Friday before competing in the Hotchkiss Invitational tournament Saturday. The Cowboys had eight varsity wrestlers in the duals and won three against Hotchkiss and three of five matches wrestled against Cedaredge. In the tournament, Meeker pushed two wrestlers to the championship match and placed four others, to finish sixth as a team.
“I was real pleased how they all came together by the end of Saturday night,” Gutierrez said. “They performed and all of them realized we have stuff to work on and that’s our next step.”
Seniors Jared Doll, Andrew Lawrence and Aaron Webster all won against Hotchkiss, while classmate Matt Moody and freshman Christopher Ruckman and Doll won in matches against Cedaredge.
Moody recorded two pins and a decision in the semifinals to advance to the championship match in the 119-pound weight class, where he finished second.
Webster also wrestled well and made it to the finals but lost in the 189-pound bracket.
Doll and Ruckman both finished fourth. Doll lost in the quarterfinals and the consolation championship to the same wrestler from Olathe at 135. Ruckman recorded two pins in the 160-pound division. Lawrence finished fifth in the 171-pound bracket and freshman Ean Barrow was sixth at 125. Junior Pat Love did not place in the 152-pound bracket.
Freshman William Begaye moved up from JV-189 to wrestle at 215 in one of the duals but did not win. Begaye’s classmates Collin Cockran and Ethan Overton both wrestled JV matches at 171 during the weekend.
“I appreciate all the help and support from the parents,” Gutierrez said. “The kids had a good time but we’ll get right back to work to get better.”
The Cowboys will compete in the Delta tournament this Saturday.