Sailors wrestlers hit the mat in first match of season

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— Steamboat's wrestling team travels to Basalt tonight for its first contest of the 2000 season as it takes on Eagle Valley and Basalt in a match scheduled for 6 p.m.
Three-time state qualifier Levi Muhme will compete at 135 pounds and Lee Gittleson, also a senior, will wrestle at 145 pounds.
Steamboat, which has 17 members on its team, plays host to a dual match against Salida at 6 p.m. Friday.
On Saturday, the Steamboat Invitational begins at 8 a.m. Twelve teams will participate in the tournament at Steamboat Springs High School.
Sophomore Will Zimmerer will represent the Sailors this weekend in the heavyweight division, and Jamie McKelvie, who sat out last season, returns for his senior year to wrestle at 152 pounds.
Steamboat coach Chris Decker said the strength of his team this year will be in his senior class. He also has high expectations for his underclassmen, he said.
Sophomore Justin O'Leary, who wrestles at 112 pounds, has a promising future, Decker said.
"He's got a really good attitude and listens well in the wrestling room," Decker said.
Junior Gaspar Perricone will wrestle at 189 pounds.
Perricone, though inexperienced, has the size and strength to make an impact during regular-season competition, Decker said.
Steamboat hopes to build on the 1999 season with a larger number of wrestlers.
"This year, we're only looking up," Decker said. "We've got the same kids back who have another year of experience under their belt. They're excited, too. The kids are going to improve dramatically from last year."

To reach Eric Rineer call 871-4229 or e-mail erineer@amigo.net

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