Kremmling With a little bit of dominance and whole lot of gut, Routt County’s three high school wrestling teams fared well Saturday in a meet at West Grand High School in Kremmling.
Hayden led the way with a second-place overall finish. Soroco was seventh, and Steamboat Springs placed a pair of wrestlers and ended up 13th.
The Tigers were led by junior 215-pound Treyben Letlow, who crushed his opponents with such ease that it was debatable after he accepted his first-place medal whether he’d even need a shower when he got home. He pinned his final two opponents, each in the first round, and stayed on track with what has been a dominating season.
“The last kid was pretty strong, and I knew I couldn’t manhandle him around,” Letlow said. “I used what I thought would work, and it did. It went well.”
Hayden’s other title came at 135 pounds. If Letlow’s dominance was entirely expected, Nick Williams turned more than a few heads with his run through the bracket and gutsy championship performance.
He trailed 3-0 midway through the final match and couldn’t make anything work. It all changed in a flash, however. With a quick reverse and later a takedown, he took a 4-3 lead and then added to it as the third and final period came to a close.
“That’s as good a tournament as I’ve ever seen him wrestle,” Hayden coach Ty Camilletti said. “He was focused and driven to be the champion. You could tell by the way he wrestled.”
Elsewhere, Hayden picked up top finishes from Chad Terry, third at 112 pounds; Jordan Ferrier, third at 125; Koleman Williams, third at 152; Kolton Miller, fourth at 171; and Will Valora, third in the heavyweight division.
“It went OK. I’m a little disappointed. We had some kids wrestle really well, but we can wrestle better than that,” Camilletti said. “We have a young team, and you’ll get some highs and lows from week to week.”
Soroco has 2 champions
As impressive as parts of Hayden’s tournament were, Soroco might have managed to steal the show. The Rams won two divisions and had two other wrestlers place, making Saturday’s meet one of the team’s most successful in years. David Strait, at 140 pounds, and Lauryn Bruggink, at 103, won tournaments for the first time in their high school careers.
“We really have been working hard, and we had a really good day today,” Strait said.
Bruggink grew accustomed to beating boys last year when she qualified for state as a freshman. After she pinned her final two opponents Saturday, though, she found herself in an unfamiliar position: standing atop a high-school-meet podium that featured two other girls.
She took care of fellow female wrestler Cody Pfau, of Meeker, in the finals.
“I wasn’t going to lose that match,” Bruggink said with a grin.
Her most exciting match came in the semifinal round. There she butted heads with Noe Perez, a tough wrestler from Glenwood Springs. She trailed early in the match and continued to give up points throughout as Perez was repeatedly able to notch takedowns. He couldn’t roll Bruggink to her back, however, and as often as he got her down, she found ways out, racking up points with escapes and reverses. She took more control as the match wore on and doggedly pursued him around the ring. She twice picked up points for a near fall. The third time she maneuvered him onto his back, she finished the job and earned the pin.
“He was really fast and strong,” Bruggink said. “It was a scramble the whole time. I had to come back a couple of times.”
Strait, meanwhile, achieved the highlight of his wrestling career without near the drama. He blasted his semifinal and finals opponents in short order, pinning Alberto Soto in the finals in about a minute.
“I came in, got a takedown right away and then got an ankle and got him,” Strait said.
Soroco also scored points at 145 pounds, where Tristan Palyo finished third. He tied that match with 50 seconds remaining and then quickly turned a takedown into a near fall and took a 7-4 lead. He held on to win, 7-6.
Ben Strait, meanwhile, finished fourth at 152 pounds.
“They were all putting it all together for a change,” coach Jay Whaley said. “We have been doing little things wrong here and there up until now, and they put it all together. If we just keep building on it, we’ll be fine.”
Sailors place 13th
The Steamboat Springs High School wrestling team wasn’t able to make much progress in the championship bracket, but managed to rack up wins on the consolation side and finished with two fourth-place wrestlers.
Josh Reynolds, wrestling his first match with the team since moving to Steamboat earlier this semester, went 3-2 at 130 pounds. Casey Williams, meanwhile, finished 4-2 in the 135-pound bracket.
“Five matches is exhausting. I’m tired,” Reynolds said. “I’m happy with how the day went. This was my first tournament of the season. I need to get more aggressive and take control of the match better.”