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MEEKER | In their first time competing at the Rumble in the Rockies, the Meeker Cowboys brought home second place.
The Cowboys spent much of the week competing in duals and getting some valuable mat time. There were six duals in all from Wednesday through Saturday and the Cowboys won all but one.
The Hayden Tigers were the first to fall with eight matches wrestled, seven for varsity and one as an exhibition. Meeker won 43-27.
“We won the dual but did not wrestle well,” commented head coach JC Watt. “Physically we are there, but mentally we need to make some leaps forward.”
On home turf against Palisade, the Cowboys won a close one 37-34. Tied going into the last match, freshman Trae Kennedy (106) won by decision 6-0 and sealed the win.
“Palisade was a close dual, but we wrestled better at home. Still some things to work on,” Watt said.
Saturday in their first-ever participation in the Rumble in the Rockies, Meeker was put into an initial pool with Battle Mountain and Grand Valley. Battle Mountain fell hard, 61-18 winning the matches 5-2. In round two Meeker once again prevailed over Grand Valley 55-24 to move onto the gold bracket.
“This was our first time at the dual,” Watt said. “The kids did great and wrestled really really well progressing from Wednesday to Saturday.”
In the gold bracket, Meeker battled Glenwood Springs first. In seven matches the Cowboys won four. The final score was 65-13. Coming out on top were Dax Sheridan (160), Reese Harvey (285), Kennedy and Connor Blunt (132).
The Rifle Bears were by far the toughest opponent and the first loss for Meeker for the week. The Bears won 43-31. There were only two unfilled weights, which meant nearly the entire team was able to wrestle. Kennedy, Ty Goedert (113), Elijah LeBlanc (145), and Colby Clatterbaugh (182) all won their matches.
The final dual of the day to see who took home second was against Steamboat Springs. Winning handily, Tyson Portwood (138), Sheridan, Clatterbaugh, Harvey, Goedert (106), Owen Hannemann (113), Kaden Franklin (120), and Blunt all contributed to the 51-16 victory.
“We now will wrestle a preview of regionals this weekend in Hotchkiss and Paonia for the Screaming Eagle,” Watt said. “It will show us what to expect at regionals.”
The team will travel to Hotchkiss Friday with duals to begin at 6 p.m. There will be two different duals against Norwood and Hotchkiss, then Saturday at the Screaming Eagle in Paonia wrestling begins at 8:30 a.m.