MHS qualifies 8 for show

Cowboy senior J.R. Crawford scores back points in a regional tournament match last weekend in Grand Junction. Crawford finished third in the 170-pound bracket and qualified for the state wrestling tournament for a second time. Crawford and seven teammates will compete in the Colorado State Wrestling Championships, which starts today in the Pepsi Center at 3 p.m.

Cowboy senior J.R. Crawford scores back points in a regional tournament match last weekend in Grand Junction. Crawford finished third in the 170-pound bracket and qualified for the state wrestling tournament for a second time. Crawford and seven teammates will compete in the Colorado State Wrestling Championships, which started Thursday in the Pepsi Center.
Cowboy senior J.R. Crawford scores back points in a regional tournament match last weekend in Grand Junction. Crawford finished third in the 170-pound bracket and qualified for the state wrestling tournament for a second time. Crawford and seven teammates will compete in the Colorado State Wrestling Championships, which starts today in the Pepsi Center at 3 p.m.
MEEKER I “We keep improving,” Meeker head wrestling coach J.C. Watt said of his team’s performance at last weekend’s Region 1, state-qualifying tournament. “Everybody wrestled well, to the kid.”
Meeker filled 12 of 14 weights and qualified eight, including one champion, for the “Big Show,” which starts today in the Pepsi Center at 3 p.m.
The Cowboys, currently ranked No. 10 by on the Mat Ranking in 2A, finished third as a team at the regional tournament, behind defending state champion Paonia, who scored more than 300 team points and qualified 13 wrestlers for state. Dove Creek finished second.
Four Cowboys advanced to the finals but only one earned an individual title. Four others advanced to the consolation championship match, where three finished in third place.
Meeker sophomore Tristin Pelloni (113), junior J.C. Henderson (132) and freshmen Devon Pontine (152) and T.J. Shelton (160) all made it to the finals in their respective weights.
“They all won tough matches in the semis,” Watt said of the four finalists.
Shelton was the only Cowboy to win his championship match against Paonia senior Jorge Quinonez who had already beaten Shelton twice this season.
Shelton led 3-2 late in the third period with both wrestlers on their feet when he was called for stalling after an earlier warning, giving Quinonez a point and tying the match. Shelton was able to get a takedown in the last second to win his first high school regional tournament 5-3.
Meeker Cowboy sophomore Anthony Watt (138), junior Aaron Cochran (126) and senior J.R. Crawford (170) all finished as consolation champions and sophomore Kylloe Goedert (120) qualified for state with a fourth place finish. This will be the second time Crawford has qualified for the state tournament.
Meeker junior Calvin Shepherd finished fifth in the 106-pound bracket and did not get a wrestle-back, while freshmen Dillon Frantz (145) and Noah Overton (220) both placed sixth, as did senior Lathrop Hughes (182).
“Calvin was one match away and Noah was an overtime match away from a wrestle-back,” Watt said. “Dillon was out the last two weeks, coming back from a concussion, making it a tough tournament for him.”
Hughes was leading in the consolation semifinal match when he was injured and had to default. Hughes broke his left fibula and needed surgery to repair torn ligaments.
“I felt so bad for Lathrop,” Watt said.
There was a large contingent of Meeker fans last week in Grand Junction and they did not go unnoticed by coach Watt.
“That was great seeing all the support for our team,” Watt said. “And it was good to see all the little kids running around with our wrestlers, that’s what it’s all about.”
The first round of the 2013 Colorado State Wrestling Championships started Thursday at 3 p.m.