Hayden senior Ryan Domson, bottom, gets rolled by Wiggins senior Garret Walker on Friday at the state wrestling tournament in Denver. Domson lost the match and fell to Saturday's consolation quarterfinals. Hayden and Soroco picked up several dramatic wins Friday, but only Domson still is in the tournament.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden senior Ryan Domson, bottom, gets rolled by Wiggins senior Garret Walker on Friday at the state wrestling tournament in Denver. Domson lost the match and fell to Saturday's consolation quarterfinals. Hayden and Soroco picked up several dramatic wins Friday, but only Domson still is in the tournament.

Routt's only remaining wrestler, Hayden's Domson, dropped to state consolation bracket

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2012-13 Tigers wrestling schedule

2012-13 Rams wrestling schedule

— Ryan Domson said he wanted to leave a mark on Hayden High School. That’s what drove the senior to consider a long-odds comeback from a devastating knee injury, a recuperation that would have wowed his doctors even if he’d missed the narrow window that allowed him to compete at the state wrestling tournament in Denver.

After a Friday night semifinal match against the fleet-footed, strongly built Garret Walker, of Wiggins, the best that mark can be is third place.

Domson lost, 12-5, falling to Saturday’s consolation round quarterfinals.

“We didn’t wrestle our match,” coach Chad Jones said.

In the end, it wasn’t the knee that doomed Domson, at least not directly. He simply was a step slow and couldn’t adjust quickly enough to Walker’s quick, aggressive shots to prevent takedowns.

Walker scored two late in the first period, then racked up five more with a takedown and three-point near fall in the second. Domson never found a way to respond. He racked up points with one-point escapes and, in the waning seconds, a two-point takedown.

“We wanted to out-wrestle him, to out-technique him, but he stayed in real tight, real close, and we couldn’t get our angles,” Jones said. “He’s a powerhouse, a well-built young man, but we’re disappointed.”

The semifinal loss came after Domson, the 182-pound bracket’s No. 2 seed, won a narrow decision Friday morning in the quarterfinals. His opponent there, Brody Wisemon, of Swink, gave up a catastrophic penalty point late in the third period, giving Domson a 3-2 lead when Wisemon was whistled for locking his hands together.

That kind of thrilling, up-but-ultimately-down day defined Friday for the Hayden and Soroco wrestlers. Only Domson remains in the action Saturday.

The mostly thrilling match of the day from a Routt County wrestler came from Hayden’s Taylor Lewis at 160 pounds.

Lewis trailed big in his first consolation match, as much as 12-4 as the clock wound down in the final period. Somehow, he completely changed the momentum, however. He threw John Mall wrestler Jacob Pino to his back and flopped on him, earning the pin.

“It was an all-or-nothing moment,” Lewis said. “I can say I tried my best. I didn’t wrestle my best, but I tried my best. With a little more technique, I’d still be out there.”

Fitting the trend, he lost in the next round, falling to Joshua Forgey, of Baca County, 14-6.

Soroco got two big wins in the consolation round. Colton Martindale pinned Yuma’s Aaron Aagesen late in the first period, earning his first state victory.

“I knew I wanted that win, and I just pushed through,” he said. “It was pretty cool to win at state. It’s definitely different than winning anywhere else.”

He couldn’t do much in the next round against Holly wrestler Cole Burns, falling 10-1.

Cody Constine’s day was eerily similar. He won in the first consolation round with a pin against Cody Mangum, of Mountain Valley.

He fell from the tournament later with a 5-2 loss to Blaine Larson, of Fowler. He only trailed by one late into the match.

“It was a pretty awesome to wrestle here,” Constine said. “Just getting to come out here was good.”

Hayden’s Tanner Guire got a gift of a win at 113 pounds in the first consolation round when his opponent came in overweight Friday morning. And he wrestled tough in the second round but still fell, 4-3, to Case Baughman, of Dove Creek.

The Tigers also lost Kent Miller in the first round. He fell, 11-5, to Swink’s Blake Denton. Judd Magee, meanwhile, was pinned for the second time on the weekend, falling in the third period of his consolation match against Fowler’s Justin Hinkle.

He spent less time on the mat than any Routt County wrestler, but the freshman managed to sum up the teams’ feelings well.

All but Domson will have the chance to return next year, and Domson still has Saturday to leave that mark.

“It was a good experience. Now I’ve experienced what’s it like to be out there on the mat with all these circumstances,” Magee said. “Overall, it’s been good.”

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

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