The Hayden wrestling team has found a tournament sure to appear on the schedule next season.
The two-day Uintah Tourn-ament in Uintah, Utah, is exactly what coach Ty Zabel was looking for in a mid-January event. Uintah is northeast of Salt Lake City.
" It was tough," Zabel said. "It was good though. That's one reason I wanted to go -- for these younger kids, and for the team as a whole. It's really run like state with the weigh-ins and needing passes to get in."
The teams included Colorado squads Hayden, Meeker, Nucla and Brighton as well as talented teams from Wyoming and Utah.
The brackets were 32-man brackets, which is much larger than most regular-season tournaments in Colorado. Wrestlers placed as far as eighth. The finals were held on one mat with a spotlight on the mat.
Hayden's Mitchell Doolin stood on the podium, taking eighth at 125 pounds. He was the only Tiger to place but not the only one to win matches.
"Everybody won some matches, so it was good for them," Zabel said. "It was a confidence booster."
Coy Letlow and Aaron Haskins advanced into the quarterfinals of the championship bracket but did not place. Letlow has bumped up to 160 pounds, and Haskins wrestled at 189 pounds. Letlow was at 152 pounds but moved up a weight class after Isaac Haskins' season ended with an injury.
Up next for Hayden is the Western Slope League Tournament on Saturday in Paonia.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org