Paonia tournament a chance to size up competition

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Tiffany Jehorek/Gayle Zimmerman Photos

RANGELY | The Meeker wrestlers got a lot of mat time this past weekend. Beginning with the Hotchkiss Triangular and ending with the Screaming Eagle in Paonia, most maxed out on the total matches they are allowed to wrestle in one day.

The Hotchkiss Triangular featured Hotchkiss, Meeker and Norwood in a round-robin format. Meeker came out on top in both of their duals, beating Norwood 57-24 and Hotchkiss 47-27.

Winners in the dual against Norwood were Trae Kennedy (106), Ty Goedert (113), Charles Curry (126), Connor Blunt (132) and Dax Sheridan (160). The 170-285 weights were open for Norwood.

“The boys really wrestled hard both Friday and Saturday,” commented head coach JC Watt. “The kids who are putting in the time and effort in the wrestling room is showing on the mat.” Contributing to the 20 point win over Hotchkiss were Kennedy, Sheridan, Colby Clatterbaugh (182), Ridge Williams (195) and Tanner Musser (220).

In Paonia Saturday, it was the first chance the Cowboys had to size up the competition, all in one place, for regionals.

“All of the kids wrestled really well, some of them didn’t get to finish the tournament because of the five-match rule, but they all did really good,” Watt said.

With so many kids the brackets were large and some of the kids maxed out their daily allowance of matches before they had reached the end, and their inability to compete meant they lost the opportunity to place.   

Kennedy, a freshman, who was ranked fifth in the week eight rankings, placed fourth. The previous night he battled Anthony Scanlon of Hotchkiss and Jared Sinks of Norwood, both ranked, and both tough matches. Facing these two opponents again, he fell to Sinks moving him to the consolation bracket to once again take on Scanlon in those semi-finals, winning by decision he moved on to wrestle for third. In his final match, he fell to Kody Ingols of Hayden who is ranked just below him.

Goedert, in his second week of wrestling at 113 pounds, placed fifth by beating Hager of Hayden 9-3. He had moved to the consolation round after his loss to Miguel Sanchez of John Mall in the semi-finals.

“Trae and Ty are both wrestling really strong,” commented Watt.

Blunt, losing in round one to Dylan Zimmerman of Hayden, wrestled his way through the entire consolation bracket, but had maxed out his matches and lost by coin toss in the final round and brought home a well earned fourth place.

Clatterbaugh, with one of the smaller brackets, had a bye round one and pinned easily in round two, to then have his round three opponent, in the semifinals, from Hotchkiss medical forfeit. He then moved on to the finals to face Palansky of Hayden. The two, well-matched wrestlers, had a low scoring three rounds. Palansky, scoring first, controlled the match the majority of time and the final was 5-0, and Clatterbaugh took second place.

Williams, another Meeker wrestler that stayed alive all day in the championship bracket, took on kids from Hotchkiss, Cedaredge, and finally Miller of Paonia who is ranked third in the state. Pinned late in the third period, Williams brought home a second-place finish, and got a good look at those for regionals.

Freshman Musser, in his second week of wrestling varsity, brought home fifth place. Moving to the third round after a bye and then a win with an 11-5 decision over Seiden of Hotchkiss, he took on the number one 220-pounder in the state, Paonia senior Levi Peterson. Suffering his first loss, Musser moved to the consolation bracket to wrestle two more bouts and secure fifth place.

Reese Harvey, who wrestles at 285 pounds, was matched up in the first round to Matus of Hotchkiss, falling early he then wrestled his way across to the consolation bracket pinning both Summers of Dolores and Deck of Paonia along the way. Harvey took fifth place at the tournament.

This week the team traveled to Glenwood Springs on Thursday for a dual at 6 p.m., with the weekend off they then return home next Friday and Saturday for duals.

By Tiffany Jehorek | Special to the Herald Times