Hayden sophomore Taylor Lewis finds himself bent out of shape Thursday during the first round of the state wrestling tournament in Denver. Hayden lost four of its five wrestlers in the first round to the consolation bracket, and Soroco lost both of its wrestlers. Action resumes Friday in Denver.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden sophomore Taylor Lewis finds himself bent out of shape Thursday during the first round of the state wrestling tournament in Denver. Hayden lost four of its five wrestlers in the first round to the consolation bracket, and Soroco lost both of its wrestlers. Action resumes Friday in Denver.

Hayden's Domson moves on; all other wrestlers drop to consolation bracket

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Girl makes history with 1st-round win

Grand Valley's Cody Pfau on Thursday became the first girl in state history to win in the first round of the state wrestling tournament.

Pfau, the lone female at this year's state wrestling tournament, won her first-round match, 6-5, against Fort Lupton's Ferdinando Martinez in the Class 3A, 106-pound bracket.

Her win also was the first time a girl had won in the championship bracket.

Lauryn Bruggink, a 2012 Soroco High School graduate, became the first girl to win at the state tournament in a consolation bracket match as a sophomore in 2010. That honor came by only a few minutes because Pfau won quickly after Bruggink in the same round. Bruggink made the state field three times and went 0-3 in the first round.

— The Denver Post and Joel Reichenberger

2012-13 Tigers wrestling schedule

2012-13 Rams wrestling schedule

— Just like any other meet, Thursday’s high school wrestling state championships featured mats and whistles, hollering parents and enthusiastic coaches.

That’s pretty much the end of the comparisons, and on the first day of the three-day tournament in Denver, the massive Pepsi Center — with its bright lights, huge crowd and constant commotion — swallowed Routt County’s qualified wrestlers.

Hayden High School senior Ryan Domson got a win in the tournament’s first round, but his four fellow Tigers, as well as a pair of Soroco Rams, lost their matches and were cast to Friday’s consolation bracket.

“It’s a different experience, that’s for sure,” Hayden sophomore Taylor Lewis said. “I was shell-shocked. Eventually, I realized it’s just the same as anywhere else, but it has better competition.”

Domson earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament despite missing the vast majority of the season recuperating from a knee injury. He rushed back from that injury, shaving nearly three months off the expected recovery time, and on Thursday, he maintained that sense of urgency. He beat Astolfo Rojo, of Holyoke, with a first-period pin, setting up a quarterfinal match Friday against Swink’s Brody Wisemon.

“This is the top of the top. There’s not a single person out there that’s easy,” Domson said.

Domson said he was was wracked by nerves before the match — not an unusual emotion for the weekend, but less common among wrestlers with as much state experience as Domson. Of course, few wrestlers make state with as little work in the season as he did. Only two of the 896 wrestlers at the tournament entered fewer matches than Domson’s 10.

After he shook those nerves, the match didn’t last long. He got the pin 1 minute, 23 seconds in.

“It was a good match to get the jitters out of my system,” Domson said.

Friday’s quarterfinals begin at 10 a.m.

Elsewhere, the Tigers were long shots, with each of the other four grabbing the final qualifying spot at the regional tournament. That meant their stay at state began with a bout against a top-ranked opponent.

It wasn’t about bad wrestling.

Tanner Guire, for instance, wrestled tough against Austin Coy, of Swink, at 113 pounds. Guire hung on and avoided getting pinned, but he couldn’t earn many points as Coy improved to 20-0, remaining one of four undefeated wrestlers in 2A.

“I knew it would be tough,” Guire said. “I should have wrestled my match. I need to control the pace and make him wrestle the way I want.”

Lewis, meanwhile, had a few opportunities at 160 pounds against Taylor Weirich, of Eads, but finally was pinned midway through the third period.

“He was a pretty tough kid, but I didn’t wrestle my best against him,” Lewis said. “He had good hips and good balance, and he’s strong. He was tough to attack. There was one moment where he was trying to ride his legs on me, and I almost put him to his back, but I couldn’t pull through on it.”

Hayden’s Kent Miller, at 132 pounds, was pinned in the waning seconds of the second period while Judd Magee quickly was overwhelmed. Hayden coach Chad Jones said the venue rattled Magee, and his opponent Jakeob Trujillo, of Highland, added a shake of his own, earning the pin in 35 seconds.

“We knew we’d be battling uphill, but we were hoping we could knock someone off,” Jones said.

Soroco didn’t fare much better.

Junior Colton Martindale was pinned by Yuma’s Aaron Aagesen in 1:55. The same fate came to Cody Constine at 195 pounds. He was pinned by Jonas Cure, of Wray, in 1:13.

“He caught me in a lateral drop. I pushed into him, and I shouldn't have. Then he took me over,” Constine said. “This was different than a normal tournament. I was a little nervous.”

All is not lost for the defeated six of Routt County. They’ll get a chance to wrestle in the consolation bracket beginning after the quarterfinals.

“I have to be better on my feet. I want to get the first takedown. That’s something I’ve been working on a lot,” Constine said. “I want to place.”

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

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