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MEEKER I Cowboy sophomore Justin Hardy wrestled in his first tournament of the season and finished third in the Delta Invitational, where five teammates also placed in the top six.
“It was a tougher tournament than the weekend before because most of the teams were 4A, but we also wrestled better than the first week,” head coach Joe Gutierrez said. “Our conditioning and mat sense is getting better.”
Rifle won the tournament, Delta was second and Meeker finished seventh behind Hayden, Grand Valley, Cortez and Eagle Valley, one point ahead of Nucla.
“Justin started a little slow but finished strong,” Gutierrez said of Meeker’s 160-pounder.
Hardy pinned his first opponent before getting pinned in the semifinals. Hardy won his next match and pinned his opponent in the consolation championship.
Cowboy junior Caleb Dodds also made it to the semifinals, but suffered the same fate as his teammate Hardy, losing to the eventual champion from Cortez.
“Caleb had a kid in the semis, who weighed 287, after cutting from 315,” Gutierrez said of Dodds’ opponent in the semifinals.
Dodds came back to pin his next opponent before losing in the consolation finals for a fourth place finish in the heavyweight division.
Senior Mark Papez finished fourth at 215, as did sophomore Collin Cochran at 189. Freshman Cody Pfau finished fifth at 103 and Logan Piper was sixth in the 145-pound class.
Gutierrez hopes to get senior Pat Love on the mat for the first time this season, in Kremmling this Saturday, along with sophomores JR Crawford and Ethan Overton. Gutierrez said the 16-team tournament features several Northwest League teams.
“If we keep them healthy and get everyone in there, we should be all right,” Gutierrez said.