Steamboat Springs Will Zimmerer's pre-meet meal consists of maybe a PowerBar or two. He isn't worried about his weight. After all, he wrestles at 275 pounds, but he doesn't like to compete with a full stomach.
There's plenty of time to chow down once the day is done, and after an impressive victory in the Steamboat Invitational Saturday, Zimmerer deserves much more than a snack.
For the first time in high school, Zimmerer has started 4-0 to open the season. All four wins have come via fall.
"Pinning makes it easier," Zimmerer said. "It's nice to have speed, but now I have the weight to back it up."
And the experience. Zimmerer rolled through his opponents Saturday literally flipping one after the other on his back, refusing to let up.
Dave Gittleson (135) and Andy Morell (103) were the other place winners for the Sailors. Gittleson placed third, while Morell came in fourth.
But Steamboat wasn't the only Routt County team in the invitational.
Hayden and Soroco both crowned champions as well. Senior Brandon Ager (135) and sophomore Whit Gates (152) took home titles for the Rams, while sophomore Jake Doolin (130) came out victorious for the Tigers.
Sophomore Matt Iacovetto and senior Cody Denning finished second for Soroco. Senior Alan Stark and junior Jason Rolando each took second for Hayden.
Saturday's trip to Steamboat was the season opening meet for the Tigers, and while coach John Svoboda said he saw both good and bad things from his team overall, he was pleased with how Doolin wrestled on opening day.
"He's having fun," Svoboda said. "And he's working hard."
Doolin was able to do one thing that Stark and Rolando couldn't do in their final matches outlast the fatigue, Svoboda said.
Doolin's aggressive style caused him to grow tired, and it became apparent after he won his final match 13-10, he has some conditioning work to do.
"This is a big step," Doolin said. "I wrestled hard. There towards the end I wasn't so sure if I could hang on."
Eagle Valley won the team portion of the meet, but Soroco put up a formidable test. It is more difficult to contend for an overall team title without wrestlers at each weight, but those wrestlers the Rams did have did their best to make up for lost points.
Don't think coach Doug Gates was looking the other way.
"They wrestled great Thursday and they showed up (Saturday) too," Gates said. "They're looking good. We don't usually fare well here with only three weeks to put it together."
The Rams looked every bit as tough as any other team in attendance, and they are still minus defending state champion Josh Iacovetto at least on the mat.
The senior came to cheer on his team and serve as a backup coach as he is still recovering from a broken leg.
While he continues to heal, his teammates are wasting no time getting into prime shape, and it's only December, particularly the four that placed for Soroco.
Gates said Denning and Iacovetto wrestled well Saturday, they just made a couple mistakes that cost them the match. Ager and Whit Gates, on the other hand, couldn't have done much better. One thing is helping each of them out the other.
Ager and Gates are wrestling buddies in practice, and Coach Gates said Ager is dominant on top, while Whit is great from the neutral position. Together they are making each other better wrestlers.
"It goes back and forth," Gates said.
Ager, fresh off three wins Saturday and two in a triangular on Thursday, is 5-0 this season. Until Saturday, he had never placed at the Steamboat Invitational, let alone win.
"This is a good accomplishment," Ager said. "This is the longest I've been undefeated. I thought it was going to be a long day, but when I pinned my first guy I knew it was going to be a good day."
Gates, however, is confident come Monday the taste of winning will inspire his team to want it a bit more.
"They'll pick it up," he said. "They know if they're going to stay on top they will have to work harder."