Saturday, February 10, 2007
Steamboat Springs Soroco wrestling coach Jay Whaley told Caleb Mitchell he'd have to beat one kid if he wanted to get to the state championships. The kid Mitchell met in the 160-pound quarterfinal match Friday at the Class 2A regional tournament in Grand Junction just happened to be cross-county rival Jake Magee - a Hayden wrestler who pinned Mitchell in 47 seconds a week before.
But this time Mitchell won 13-5 to advance to today's semifinal matches in the championship bracket.
"He took advantage of mistakes and just wrestled tough," Whaley said.
Mitchell's win capped off a successful day for Soroco, in which Whaley said his team "wrestled as good as they have all year." Five of Soroco's seven wrestlers advanced in the championship bracket.
Of Soroco's quarterfinal victories, Levi Gonzales defeated No. 6-ranked Chris Beanland from Dove Creek, 11-8, at 125 pounds and Joel Schlegel (130) and Dennis Morgan (189) both pinned out to win their matches. Justin Iacovetto secured a bye with his No. 1 seed in the 103-pound class. With the exception of Morgan, the Soroco wrestlers will all face opponents ranked in the state's top six or higher in today's semifinals.
Hayden's wrestlers did not fare as well.
"We had a rough night, but we're still alive," Hayden coach Ty Zabel said. "(Saturday's) a new day."
Although none of his 10 wrestlers were eliminated from securing one of the top four state-qualifying spots, Zabel was disappointed to see only two of his wrestlers claim victories to remain in the championship bracket. Coy Letlow pinned his Rangely opponent in the first period and will face No. 3-ranked Tanner Ridgway from Paonia in the 171-pound semifinals. Mitch Doolin defeated his Dove Creek opponent by technical fall in the second period and will face No. 2-ranked Hugh Hardman from Norwood in the 135-pound semifinals.
Zabel mentioned a few "gut-wrenching" losses in the first rounds from Hayden's eight other wrestlers - Zed Wheelock (112-pounds), Kole-man Williams (119), Mitch VeDepo (125), Jake Walker (135), Zathan Bark (145), Chris DeBowes (152), Magee (160) and Russell Waugh (189) - but was glad they were all able to win matches to remain in contention for a third- or fourth-place state qualifier berth in today's final matches.
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