Wrestlers take hold of titles

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— Steamboat's Ben Deline and Hayden's Coy Letlow pocketed individual titles Saturday as area high school wrestling teams headed into the holidays with strong showings at the West Grand Invitational.

"I'm feeling pretty good headed into the break," Hayden coach Ty Zabel said. "The kids have been working hard and that showed Saturday."

Letlow, a sophomore, led the Tigers, winning the tournament title at 171 pounds. The Tigers finished fourth as a team. Wiggins won the team title, Rangely was second, and Norwood was third.

Other top finishes for the Tigers included Mitchel Doolin who finished second at 135 pounds, Jake Walker who was fourth at 130 pounds and Zed Wheelock who was fourth at 112 pounds.

"It was a tough tournament," Zabel said. "There were a lot of good teams, and a lot of tough matches."

Steamboat Springs' 145-pounder Deline was also celebrating after the championship round.

Deline won his second tournament title of the season by topping Rangely's Keane Raley in the finals. It was the third time this season the two wrestlers have faced each other, and the third time that Deline has won the match.

Steamboat's Houston Mader also advanced to the championship round. But in the finals, Hugh Hardman of Norwood scored a takedown in the overtime period to win the title. Mader had come from behind to tie the match in the final seconds of regulation.

"It was one of the most exciting matches of the weekend," McCarthy said. "Houston may not have won, but it was great experience, and it's going to help him down the road."

Steamboat's Tyler Harris finished fourth at 189 pounds, and Lane Shipley, who was wrestling for the first time since he was a peewee, finished third in the heavyweight division.

The matches were the final ones this year for the Sailors and the Tigers. Hayden will get back on the mat Jan. 5, when the team travels to Paonia. Steamboat will be off until Jan. 7, when the team travels to Eagle Valley.

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