Four Soroco wrestlers qualify for state

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— Soroco's Justin Iacovetto has had his eyes set on a state title since the wrestling season began.

After Saturday's championship bracket matches in the Class 2A regional tournament in Grand Junction, the 103-pounder is now one step closer.

Iacovetto pinned Meeker's Jared Doll in the semifinals and then beat Rangely's Devin Rose, 7-0, in the finals to secure a No. 1 seed heading into the state wrestling tournament Thursday through Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Iacovetto was one of four Soroco wrestlers to qualify for state.

Joel Schlegel took second in the 130-pound class after he lost in the finals to Dolores' Drake Smith, 8-2. Dennis Morgan took second in the 189-pound class, losing to Nucla's Stryker Lane by technical fall in the third period. Levi Gonzales rounded out Soroco's qualifiers with a fourth-place finish at 125 pounds after losing what Soroco coach Jay Whaley called a close 2-0 match to Paonia's Lukas Wiggins.

Caleb Mitchell took fourth in the 160-pound class but lost his qualifying spot with a loss in a wrestle-back match.

Hayden 160-pounder Jake Magee turned the tables on Mitchell after losing to him Friday. Magee beat Mitchell, 5-1, in the third-place match to earn one of Hayden's three state-qualifying spots.

Mitch Doolin dropped his semifinal match at 140 pounds, but rallied back to earn a third-place finish by pinning Dove Creek's Denny Beanland in 3:49. Coy Letlow added another third-place finish for Hayden with a 10-5 win against Nucla's Steven Falk at 171 pounds.

"Our boys wrestled tough to get back in there," Hayden wrestling coach Ty Zabel said. "It was a battle in the trenches for them, they just had to gut it out and get 'er done."

While the Colorado High School Activities Association releases its state bracket pairings today, Zabel plans to get his select wrestlers ready for "a whole new season."

Dove Creek won the tournament with the top team score, followed by Dolores in second and Paonia in third. Soroco finished eighth and Hayden finished 10th out of the Western Region's 13 teams.

- To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com

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