Friday, February 20, 2004
Whit Gates wasn't going to let another overtime match get away.
An overtime loss in the quarterfinals stopped the Soroco High School junior's dream to wrestle his way to the Class 2A 152-pound state title. Overtime came again in his next match.
"I really felt like I should have won that first match," he said. "I was frustrated because I felt like I got cheated by the referee in the first one, but I had to let it go because you can't get down here, or you'll lose again."
In the loss, Gates escaped Antonito's Ryan Trujillo with seven seconds left to even the match at 6-6.
In overtime, Trujillo, who fought off all Gates' single-leg shot attempts during the match, was able to release his head from a hold to get the winning takedown.
The third period started 6-5 in favor of Trujillo, with Gates scrambling to get away while constantly turning his attention to the clock. Gates got the point he needed to tie but not enough to win, sending him into the consolations.
Gates refocused for his next match against Cheyenne Wells' Tanner Kern.
In regulation, both had three points from near falls. Twenty seconds into the overtime, Gates wrapped Kern into a cradle and earned the takedown.
"I told myself before overtime I couldn't let it happen again," he said.
Today, Gates will reach for his new goal of getting third place with a match against Tanner Ridgeway of Paonia.
Matt Iacovetto got a rare bye in his first match of the day. Iacovetto's would-be opponent, defending state champion Craig Potthoff of Wiggins, withdrew from the tournament because of an injury.
The forfeit set up a match against Ory Geringer of Crowley County.
Geringer lost to Iacovetto's rival, Jake Doolin of Hayden, 8-6, in the quarterfinals.
Geringer earned the first two points of the match 1:20 into the third period with a reversal. Fifteen seconds later, Iacavetto earned his own reversal to tie it up. Within the next two seconds, Iacovetto earned another point for Geringer's stalling. The match ended with the Soroco wrestler ahead, 3-2.
The win wasn't very satisfying for Iacovetto.
"I watched Doolin beat him, and I think I got too overconfident," he said. "That's been my problem, I've been looking past people too much."
Iacovetto will see if he can forget his disappointment against Nick Ruckman of Meeker this morning.
Wrestling for classes 2A and 3A starts today at 11 a.m. at Denver's Pepsi Center.
-- Melinda Mawdsley of the Steamboat Today contributed to this story.