The past two weeks of Jake Doolin's life have been all about wrestling. Friday night, he was rewarded.
"We've crammed a whole season into two weeks for Jake," coach John Svoboda said. "He had a tough season up until regionals, but he got focused fast."
Doolin erased any bad memories of the regular season when he threw Akron's Jordan Reid on his back in the last 20 seconds of their match to capture an 8-5 win in the Class 2A 140- pound semifinal.
"I used to do a lot of throws, but I went away from them because coach is all about attacking the legs," he said. "I've gone back to throws, and they're working this weekend."
Doolin's opponent was undefeated, but according to Svoboda, Doolin wrestled like the favorite.
"Jake wrestled his match," he said. "He stayed in control and wrestled smart."
Doolin took the early lead with a throw and led 2-1 after the first period.
He kept the lead in the second period with two near-fall points.
Each wrestler escaped in the third period to make the score 5-3 in favor of Doolin.
Reid showed a flash of why he was undefeated with a reversal 1:01 into the third. Forty seconds later, the Hayden wrestler earned his biggest takedown of the year.
"It was awesome," he said. "I just can't wait until tomorrow now."
In the finals, Doolin will face Hilltop Baptist's Ryan Winters.
"I'm probably the underdog again, but that doesn't phase me," he said. "You have to show up to every match."
To get to the semifinals, Doolin held on to defeat Crowley County's Ory Geringer, 8-6.
Doolin will be the only Hayden wrestler in action today.
In the first round of consolations, Jason Rolando was down the last 1:20 seconds of his high school wrestling career. His fortunes turned as he muscled his way to put Sangre De Cristo's Caleb Brown on his back.
Trailing 10-0 going into the third period, Rolando needed a pin to win. He started on top position and worked to get a corkscrew, which earned him three near-fall points.
"Once I got the corkscrew, I could tell he was tired," Rolando said. "I was pretty confident I could get him."
Rolando adjusted and took Brown back to the match. This time his hold was tight, and the referee slapped the mat with 9 seconds left in the match.
"He made a mistake of not pinning me when he had the chance," Rolando said. "This was probably one of my top three biggest wins of the year."
In his next match, Rolando again went into the third trailing, 1-8. He had several head locks on Cody Amen of Merino, but they weren't tight enough to earn the come-from-behind pin.
Rolando's wrestling career came to an end with a 10-3 loss.
"You've got to be proud of what Rolando did this year," assistant Ty Zabel said. "He came out and got a win at state in his first try."
Heavyweight Randy Muhme earned his first win of the tournament with a pin of Del Norte's Marcus Pacheco with 58 seconds remaining in the first period to collect his first win of the tournament.
Just like his teammate, Orlando, his victories ran out in the next round. Muhme and Cody Rock of Strasburg locked up for a scoreless first period. In the second period, Rock earned an escape and took the 1-0 lead into the third. Muhme took several chances but couldn't conquer Rock with a 5-0 loss.
"Usually Muhme can get a guy on his hip," Zabel said. "But it didn't work in that final match."
The finals begin today at 6:30 p.m. at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
-- Melinda Mawdsley of the Steamboat Today contributed to this story.