Three up, three down

Soroco's three state semifinal hopefuls lose matches



Soroco 130-pound wrestler Joel Schlegel, right, defeated Center's Luis Salazar to advance to the semifinals of the Class 2A State Wrestling Tournament in Denver. Schlegel lost in his semifinal match against Burlington's Chris Penny.

— Before Soroco wrestler Justin Iacovetto stepped on the mat to open Friday's quarterfinal round of the Class 2A State Wrestling Tournament in Denver, he already had been a little jostled.

"I rolled around for an hour and a half last night. I couldn't get to sleep," Iacovetto said about his nerves upon contemplating the upcoming matches. "I just have to think of it as one match at a time, always."

Iacovetto looked composed in the day's opening 103-pound quarterfinal match against Center's Steven DeHerrera. He controlled DeHerrera from start to finish to cruise to a 17-1 technical fall victory.

"Every time, it's a war with that kid," Center coach Brian Ullery said. "He's a stud that battles for six minutes and as good and as active as a wrestler that I've ever seen at 103. He's legit."

Unfortunately, Iacovetto was matched in the semifinals against the other truly legit 103-pound wrestler - Rocky Ford's 33-3 David Garcia. It was a battle between the state's No. 1 wrestler, Iacovetto, and its No. 2.

Perhaps Iacovetto had too long during the day to think about the match. Garcia scored a momentum-shifting takedown at the end of the first period and remained on top of Iacovetto for the rest of the match. Garcia's relentless approach allowed him to go up, 4-1, and deal Iacovetto his first loss of the entire season.

Iacovetto was not the only Soroco wrestler to drop his semifinal match.

Joel Schlegel won a lopsided 8-0 match in the quarterfinals, defeating Center's Luis Salazar.

To his dismay, Schlegel's semifinal match wasn't close, either. Burlington's Chris Penny (29-1 as the state's No. 1-ranked 130-pound wrestler) controlled Schlegel after a first-period takedown to win, 13-4.

After winning his quarterfinal match, 7-2, against Wray's Paul Campfield, Soroco's Dennis Morgan looked to stage a come-from-behind victory in his 189-pound semifinal match with Byers' Steven Turecek.

Down 10-5 with 30 seconds to go, Morgan reversed Turecek and almost had him pinned as time expired.

The three wrestlers all have shots to advance to the third-place matches in today's consolation rounds.

Soroco 125-pound wrestler Levi Gonzales will not have the same chance. He won his first consolation match, beating Dolores Huerta's Stephen Aragon, 5-4, but was eliminated after being pinned by Nucla's Brad Dillon.

Soroco finished the day with a 28.5 team score to finish 15th overall. Rocky Ford was in first, followed by Dove Creek in second and Dolores in third.


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