Steamboat Springs Chad Terry, Kolton Miller and Treyben Letlow anchored a strong third-place showing by the Hayden Tigers wrestling team at the Delta Invitational on Saturday.
Rifle won the eight-team tournament and was followed by Delta in second. The Tigers finished 3 1/2 points ahead of Grand Valley to take third in the final standings.
“Beating Grand Valley was huge for us,” Hayden coach Ty Camilletti said. “They are ranked pretty high in the 3A, so beating them should give us a lot of confidence.”
Camilletti said Hayden’s three champions played a key role in getting the Tigers to third place, and he was pleased with how some of his younger, less-experienced wrestlers performed.
Terry raced through the 112-pound bracket in Delta by pinning his first two opponents and then earning a 6-2 decision against Rifle’s Devon Godeski in the championship match.
Miller improved his record this season to 6-1 by pinning both wrestlers he faced in the 171-pound bracket, including taking down Grand Valley’s Kelsey Satterfield in just more than a minute in the championship match.
Letlow was the final Hayden wrester to earn a title in Delta. He worked his way through the 215-pound bracket and then earned a 4-2 overtime decision against hometown favorite Gene White. Letlow remains undefeated this season with a 5-0 record.
The Tigers also got strong showings from freshman Jake Hockett, who placed third at 152-pounds. T-Lane Mazzola, at 103 pounds; Nick Williams, at 135 pounds; and Koleman Williams, at 160 pounds earned fourth-place showings at the tournament.
“We’ve got a decent mix or wrestlers on this team this year,” Camilletti said.
The coach also is pleased with the progress the team is showing from week to week. The squad was 11th out of 27 teams at its season-opening tournament in Middle Park.
The Tigers will head to West Grand this week for their final meet before the holiday break. Camilletti expects all the area high schools to be at the West Grand Invitational along with several tough regional foes.
“It’s always a good tournament, and we should see some pretty tough wrestlers there,” the coach said. “It’s a great way to head into the break.”
After the holiday break, the team will have to shift into high gear as it heads to Vernal, Utah, for the Tournament of Champions.
Soroco gains experience
Soroco wrestlers David Strait and Lauryn Bruggink continued to look strong as the Rams competed in a team tournament in Shoshoni, Wyo., during the weekend.
Greybull High School won the six-team tournament, which was set in a dual format with all of the teams wrestling head to head. The team from Lovell High School was second, and Rocky Mountain High School was third.
Soroco joined forces with Wind River High School, and the combined team placed fourth in the tournament.
“The great thing about a team format is that all of our wrestlers were guaranteed five matches,” Soroco coach Jay Whaley said. “At a regular bracketed tournament, a wrestler might go 0-2 and they are done.”
The Rams faced five of the eight teams in the tournament. Some of the smaller teams were combined with larger teams to make up the six-team field.
Rams highlights included David Strait, who won all of his matches in the 140-pound class, and Bruggink, who won two matches on the mat and took three more by forfeit.
Dillon Koler was 3-2 at 112 pounds, Josh Baker ran into some tough wresters and went 1-4 at 135 pounds, and Tristan Palyo went 3-2 at 145 pounds.
Ben Strait, who missed the first part of the season with an ankle injury, returned to the mat and went 1-4 at 152 pounds, and teammate Richard Gonzales, who naturally fits into the 152-pound class, wrestled up at 160 and also went 1-4 in a class that featured a returning state champion and several other top-level wrestlers.
“We got to see some good quality wrestlers,” Whaley said. “This is the perfect tournament for our team at this point of the season. We have a lot of young wrestlers, and this event will give them the experience they need to get better.”
The Rams will head to Kremmling on Saturday and compete in the West Grand Invitational.