Sailors crown three champions

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— The Steamboat Springs wrestling team crowned three champions during Saturday's Carl Ramunno Invitational in Steamboat Springs.

Senior Andy Morrell (135 pounds), sophomore Houston Mader (140) and sophomore Ben DeLine (152) took first-place in their divisions in the tournament hosted by their team.

Morrell and DeLine ended the suspense of their championship matches early by pinning their opponents. Morrell needed only 12 seconds to win his match, the quickest pin of the tournament.

Mader, on the other hand, participated in one of the better matches of the day, defeating Saratoga senior John Blumenthal by decision, 5-3.

Before the match, it was announced that Blumenthal placed fourth at last year's state wrestling tournament.

"I did hear that," Mader said about the announcement. "I just tried to concentrate on what I was going to do."

Mader, who admitted he is not in wrestling shape because he's only had one week of practice, broke the tie on a single-leg takedown with five seconds left in the match.

"I only had four practices (before Saturday) because of football," Mader said. "I wasn't in condition. I used my memory."

Mader's championship was pinned between titles from his teammates -- appropriate because pinning was pretty much all Morrell and DeLine did to their opponents Saturday.

Despite wrestling two weight classes above his usual classification, DeLine dominated the 152-pound field. His pins, coupled with wins by his teammates, allowed Steamboat to place fifth in the tournament, one of its better team finishes in recent years.

Rangely won the Carl Ramunno Invitational.

Morrell's title Saturday was the senior's first tournament championship in high school, he said. He was 103 pounds his freshman year, 119 his sophomore year, 130 last year and wrestles at 135 pounds this season. He expects his last year to be his best.

A.J. Carmack (145), Joey Melius (189) and Alex Centner (275) placed for the Sailors. Centner was second. Carmack was third. Melius was fourth.

Up next for Steamboat is a dual against Moffat County at 5:15 p.m. Thursday at Steamboat Springs High School.

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