Hayden High School senior Treyben Letlow stood out for one final time on the wrestling mat before he began his quest to claim a second consecutive Class 2A state championship.
In going 5-0 against tough competition at a duals tournament Saturday in Eaton, he proved to his coach he’s as ready as he’s been all season.
Letlow won a pair of white-knuckle matches, taking one in overtime, 4-2, and another 3-2.
“He got them, but not without some excitement,” Tigers’ coach Ty Camilletti said. “He had some insane matches.”
The five wins bumped Letlow’s record to 27-0 for the season and extended his unbeaten streak — which stretched all the way through his junior season — to 65 matches.
“He feels the pressure, but he handles it, too,” Camilletti said. “He feeds off of it.”
Letlow and the Tigers will wrestle again starting Friday in Palisade in the regional tournament. The top four wrestlers from each weight class at that event will advance to the state wrestling tournament in Denver.
Plenty of Hayden wrestlers worked Saturday to prepare for the coming weekend’s all-important matches.
Sophomore T-Lane Mazzola, at 119 pounds, and junior Chad Terry, at 130, wrestled and tried to shake off rust. They each missed time because of injury and still are trying to come back.
Mazzola struggled, going 2-3. Terry, meanwhile, went 3-0 before he was pulled from the tournament to avoid risking re-aggravating his injured arm.
Hayden sophomore 171- pounder Ryan Domson wrestled through an injury of his own, finishing 3-2 as he tried to prepare to make state for the first time.
The team went 0-5, giving away many points in each dual via forfeit. Several other Tigers picked up wins, however. Austin Cless was 2-3 and Kaiden Decker was 3-2.
“It was a tough tournament and a few of our kids had tough days,” Camilletti said. “I told them every time they lose to someone, they have to learn from it and they’ll get better. This just prepared us for regionals.
“Hopefully, nothing backfires.”
— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com