Wrestlers hit mats at home

103-pound matchup to highlight 5-school competition

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If you go

What: Hayden wrestling meet featuring the Tigers, Soroco, Steamboat Springs, Moffat County and Meeker

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Hayden High School

— Lauryn Bruggink is fast on her feet and quick to lay down textbook maneuvers on the wrestling mat.

T-Lane Mazzola is a cerebral wrestler who’s been quick to get up to speed in a sport that can terrorize high school freshmen.

When the two clash today in a 6 p.m. wrestling meet in Hayden, fans could see a preview of the 103-pound regional championship that will take place this month in Palisade.

Bruggink is the only returning Soroco wrestler with state experience, and Mazzola is one of the most talented of Hayden’s stable of talented freshmen.

“I like our chances,” Hayden coach Ty Camilletti said about the matchup between Bruggink and Mazzola. “T-Lane has wrestled all different kinds of kids, different styles, and he’s been able to adapt. But Lauryn, she’s a really good little wrestler. It will be a great match.”

Tonight’s wrestling will offer fans what’s become a rare opportunity: the chance to see local schools square off without a long drive. All three Routt County schools — host Hayden, Soroco and Steamboat Springs — will participate, as will local powerhouses Moffat County and Meeker.

Each team will get the chance to wrestle at least three times.

There should be plenty of excitement in the match, especially among the three local teams.

Steamboat is a team consisting almost entirely of freshmen, which struggled early in the season but emerged last week with its best performance of the year. The squad was third at a meet in Estes Park.

“They’re very excited,” Sailors coach Shane Yeager said about his team’s chance to match up with the intra-county competition. “They’re pretty familiar with their opponents, and they’re looking forward to it. They’ve practiced hard all week.”

Soroco, too, is coming off one of its best weekends, a Grand Junction meet in which two Rams made the finals. Twin brothers Ben (152 pounds) and David Strait (140) have made the finals in their weight classes this season.

And Hayden will be led by the seemingly unstoppable Treyben Letlow, the Tigers’ 215-pounder who’s had little trouble with anyone this season. He’s ranked No. 2 in his weight and school classification by On The Mat Rankings.

Some of the most exciting wrestling could come at the smallest weight class, however, where Bruggink and Mazzola will clash in a match that could decide who gets the No. 1 seed in the Feb. 12 and 13 regional wrestling tournament.

Bruggink is fresh off a second-place finish in Grand Junction and won the first meet of her high school career earlier this season. A sophomore, she was second in the region a year ago and became the first girl to score a point at the state meet a week later.

Mazzola, meanwhile, entered his freshman season an accomplished middle school wrestler and backed that reputation up with a solid run. Bruggink is 15-4 on the year, and Mazzola is 16-7.

“It’s a pretty important dual,” Soroco coach Jay Whaley said about the matchup with Hayden. “At 103 pounds, you have probably the two best kids.”

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