Tristan Palyo vs. a Norwood wrestler. Submitted by: Coty Dilldine

Tristan Palyo vs. a Norwood wrestler. Submitted by: Coty Dilldine

Soroco wrestling sends 2 to state tournament

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By wrestling like there was no tomorrow, they ensured there would be one.

The Soroco High School wrestling team on Saturday qualified a pair of athletes for next weekend’s state tournament in Denver. Lauryn Bruggink and Tristan Palyo eked into the tournament thanks to wins in huge, pressure-packed matches.

“They’re both seniors, and they wrestled each match like it was going to be their last,” coach Jay Whaley said.

The top four wrestlers from each bracket earned tickets to state, and Bruggink appeared to be on the outside looking in as she wrestled for fifth and sixth place at 106 pounds. She beat Norwood’s Talon Harris, however, avenging a loss from earlier in the tournament, to sew up fifth place and earn the chance to battle Meeker’s Tristin Pelloni, who was in fourth place, in a wrestle-back for the final spot in the state tournament. There, Bruggink, also a state qualifier as a freshman and sophomore, picked up an early lead and held on to it in a tight match before adding a few points to make things safe late in the third period.

“The crowd was really behind her. It was cool,” Whaley said. “She was excited.”

Palyo, at 145 pounds, lost in the championship semifinals Saturday but made the consolation finals, where he lost again. Having already beat both the wrestlers vying for fifth, his trip to state — the second in as many years — was secure.

“Tristan wrestled the best he has all year,” Whaley said. “That was a very tough, even weight class. It was good to see him wrestle like that.”

The Rams nearly picked up a third state entry. Cody Constine, at 182 pounds, earned a chance in a wrestle-back but narrowly lost.

“He wrestled tough all weekend,” Whaley said. “I was really proud.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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