Cowboys send four to state wrestling in Denver

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MEEKER — Josh Prescott has been on Meeker’s varsity wrestling team all four years of his high school career and and has qualified for the “big show” all four years but never as a regional champion.
Last weekend Prescott won his first regional championship, winning the 145-pound bracket and qualifying for the 2008 Colorado State Wrestling Championships, for a fourth time. All five state classifications will wrestle in the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver, starting today.
Prescott will be joined by Meeker juniors Jared Doll and Clint Sampson, who both wrestled in the regional championship match at their respective weights but finished second, Doll at 112 and Sampson at 119. Meeker senior Nick Smith also earned a free trip to state in a wrestle back, the hard way.
“As a coach, you’re never satisfied,” head coach Willy Theos said. “I think we are leaving some tough kids home, kids who could have placed but I’m real excited for the four who qualified. They all had a good tournament and I’m satisfied with the way they wrestled.”
Prescott has finished second in the regional tournament the last two years and was third as a freshman. Prescott, who was ranked fifth in the state, had to defeat the No. 4 ranked wrestler from Paonia in the semifinals to face and defeat the No. 1 ranked wrestler from Hayden in the championship match.
“I was impressed with Josh beating kids that had each beaten him twice this season,” Theos said. “He’s wrestling like he is supposed to in February and has set the table for state in a good bracket, giving himself the best chance to win.”
“Jared wrestled smart in the semifinals and just had a tough kid from Soroco in the finals,” Theos said of Doll’s championship match against two-time state placer.
“It’s all coming together for Clint and his intensity throughout the match is making all the difference,” Theos said of his 119-pounder.
Smith finished fifth in the 140-pound bracket but since he had not wrestled the fourth place finisher, Cole Barlow of Rangely yet, he was given a wrestle back after the finals were wrestled, with the winner advancing to the “big show.”
“Nick’s match was a great way to end the tournament,” Theos said of Smith’s overtime win to qualify. “It was absolutely exciting and he showed a lot of guts, wrestling smart and listening well.”
J.C. Chintala (160), Aaron Webster (171) and Dillan Pearce (189) all finished fifth but did not get to wrestle back. Freshman Tory Green (125) and junior Andrew Aldridge (152) did not place.
The first round of the state tournament starts today at 3 p.m. in the Pepsi Center.
“The kids are wrestling the best they have this season and now it is up to them,” Theos said.