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MEEKER I It had been several years since the Meeker High School wrestling team had been invited to the Warrior Classic, known as one of the toughest tournaments in the state. The Cowboys were represented well, winning 22 matches, placing two in the top four and the team placed 10th in a field of 36 teams.
“The kids wrestled well,” said head coach J.C. Watt, who coached in his first Warrior Classic.
The Cowboys entered nine of 14 brackets and five advanced to the quarterfinals of the 32-man brackets and two advanced but lost in the semifinals.
Sheridan Harvey (113), Tristin Pelloni (120), Anthony Watt (152), Jacob Henderson (160) and T.J. Shelton (170) all advanced to the quarterfinals. Pelloni and Shelton both advanced to the semifinals.
“They both had good tournaments,” coach Watt said of Pelloni and Shelton. “T.J. lost 3-2 in the semis but dominated in all his other matches; and Tristin beat three-time national champion Maya Nelson.”
Pelloni advanced to the consolation championship match but lost in overtime to finish fourth. After losing in the semifinals, Shelton won by major decision to advance, then pinned his opponent in the consolation championship match to finish third.
Harvey and Watt lost one match before the medal round but each won three matches in the tournament. Casey Turner (152) won four matches after losing in the second round, then won three matches in the consolation bracket before being eliminated.
Jacob Pelloni (106) and Kylloe Goedert (126) each won a match in their respective bracket and Chase Rule wrestled at 182 in his first Warrior Classic.
“It was a long two days,” Watt said.
The Cowboys will open 2015 in Grand Valley Jan. 8, then travel to Vernal, Utah, for the Tournament of Champions, another tournament featuring all classifications and wrestlers from multiple states in the 32-man brackets.
“We hope to get everyone healthy and in better wrestling condition,” Watt said of the second part of the season.