On Saturday, Soroco Middle School hosted its annual Invitational Wrestling Tournament, which 13 teams from across Northwest Colorado attended.
The action began at 9 a.m., and wrestlers battled it out to see who would meet in the finals, which started late in the evening.
"It's a long day of intense competition," Hayden Middle School wrestling coach Dallas Robinson said. "Endurance and mental toughness really come into play for those wrestlers who last the tournament."
The Tigers had more than 30 wrestlers participating, but they were able to fill only 14 out of 17 weight classes with varsity wrestlers.
"We have a tough room. A lot of our wrestlers are stacked up in the same weight classes, resulting in some great wrestlers having to hold junior varsity positions. Nevertheless, these are the guys that are pushing each other to become the best in their division," Hayden assistant coach Ty Camilletti said.
The tough competition became evident in the semifinals when Tiger wrestlers met head to head to see who would advance to the finals.
Going into the final round, Hayden held a commanding lead, and when wrestlers lined up for the parade of champions, it was evident that the Hayden Tigers meant business.
Eleven out of Hayden's 14 varsity wrestlers lined up to battle for first and second place. Three other varsity wrestlers and one junior varsity wrestler were in the competition for third and fourth places.
Hayden's Cory Terry (70 pounds) set the pace by pinning his opponent and taking his place at the top of the podium. Junior varsity sixth-grader Treyben Letlow (115) won his consolation match.
Overall, the Tigers battled to a team victory, stretching their lead against second-place Rangely to more than 100 points. Lake County placed third in the tournament.
Hayden wrestlers Terry, Mitchel Doolin (110), Coy Letlow (145) and Haylen Raymond (165) placed first. Dakota McCarty (80), Noah Murray (85), Koleman Williams (95), Jake Walker (115), BJ Griggers (120), Jeremy Engle (125), and Jake Magee (135) placed second. Greg Medvesk (90), Ben Williams (100), Mitchel VeDepo (105), and Treyben Letlow placed third.
"My team worked hard for this victory. They have all earned the right to be called champions," Robinson said. "It's a really good day when every one of your varsity wrestlers places third or higher at a tournament of this caliber."
Hayden wrestlers Doolin, Coy Letlow and Paden Morehead remain undefeated this season.
Hayden Middle School will host a mini-tournament at 4 p.m. Tuesday and the Northwest Regional Tournament on Saturday.