Listen to this post
T.J. Shelton, a seventh-grader at Barone Middle School won his seventh national title, since last November, in Denver last weekend, winning the 122-pound bracket of the Rocky Mountain Nationals. By winning last weekend’s national title, Shelton also earned the Golden Gear title for winning at least four national titles and the Tri-State belt for winning national titles in three states.
Shelton had posted he was “nervous for RMN” on his Facebook page last week but was able to overcome his nerves and four opponents to win the title.
Shelton won by technical fall (15 points) over his first opponent from Arizona, then pinned his opponent from New Mexico in the quarterfinals. Shelton’s toughest match was in the semifinals where he faced a wrestler from Utah who had won the Beehive National tournament, where Shelton finished fourth. Shelton scored two points with 30 seconds left in the match to win.
In the championship match, Shelton trailed by one after the first period but came back to lead before recording a pin with five seconds left in the match.
Shelton won the Big Horn National, the Monster Match, a national title in Florida, Utah’s Jacob’s Challenge, two national titles in two different weights in Arizona and then the Rocky Mountain Nationals since last November, compiling a 73-10 record, which includes seven wins for his school.
Shelton will now compete in the state-qualifying middle school regional tournament this weekend in Grand Junction.
Joshua Cochran, a sixth-grader, also competed in the Rocky Mountain National tournament and finished sixth in the rookie division while Jake Shelton placed fifth in the 8 and under division. Cochran’s older brother Aaron and Chase Rule also wrestled but did not place.