Muhme, Culver take wrestling titles

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Hayden heavyweight Randy Muhme and Robert Culver (215 pounds) won championship titles Saturday in their first tournament of the 2004 season.

Joel Schlegal (103) and Soroco teammates Matt Iacovetto (160) and Shaye Bruggink (171) also won championships in the Carl Ramunno Invitational hosted by Steamboat Springs.

Steamboat didn't crown any individual champions, but the Sailors had several wrestlers place in the top three: Ben DeLine (135), AJ Carmack (140) and Josh Tremellen (heavyweight) were second; Houston Mader (125), Andy Morell (130), Joey Melius (171) and Alex Centner (215) were third.

Muhme pinned Tremellen twice en route to winning his heavyweight title. The Hayden senior is seeking a repeat trip to the state tournament. Culver, a sophomore, pinned Centner and Soroco's Dennis Morgan to win the 215-pound title.

Dusty Jones (125) placed second. Chris DeBowes (140) and Matt Marchbanks (189) were third for the Tigers.

Also wrestling for Hayden in the Carl Ramunno Invitational were Zed Wheelock (103), Jeff Dunn (112), David Blair (130) and Tyler Manzanares (135).

Jones, who wrestled at 125 pounds last season, finished the day 3-1, the same record as champion Josh Reichenbach and third-place finisher Mader of Steamboat.

In the round-robin format used at many of the weights, the wrestlers all faced each other. If more than one wrestler finished with the same overall record, the wrestler who scored the most points won the tournament

Saturday's matches were Hayden's first of the season under new coach Ty Zabel.

"I like the new coach," Jones said. "He has a good perspective. He understands that we all have different styles."

Soroco's Schlegal is just happy to be back on the mat. When Schlegal came to Steamboat last season for this same tournament, he left injured and done for the year. Broken bones have plagued the tiny wrestler for years. On Saturday, he said he's all healed up.

Last year, Schlegal could have frequented fast-food restaurants and still made weight. He couldn't have topped 100 pounds if he wanted to. This season, however, he will hover at about 103 pounds and finally be the size of his opponents.

"I've grown quite a bit since last year," Schlegal said. "I feel a lot stronger this year, but everyone at 103 pounds is pretty small."

Schlegal won the 103-pound title after pinning Wheelock and Grand Valley's Kelby Dillon before beating Moffat County's Scott Desjardins by technical fall, 16-0.

Iacovetto and Bruggink pinned all four of their opponents en route to titles.

The Rams' Morgan (215) was second, and Levi Gonzalez (119) placed third.

Steamboat freshman Ben DeLine, who placed second at 135 pounds, began wrestling several years ago. He moved to Steamboat Springs last February and went undefeated in middle school.

He isn't expecting perfection in his first year on varsity, but being perfect isn't what wrestling is all about.

"I expect to do a lot better in the years to come," DeLine said. "You have to lose to learn. What attracted me to wrestling is that there is no one else but you out there."

Hayden hosts Moffat County's junior varsity at 6 p.m. Thursday in Hayden. The Tigers then travel to the Olathe Dual Tournament on Saturday.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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