Steamboat Springs It took nearly four hours of wrestling to arrive at the decisive moment for the Steamboat Springs and Rifle high school wrestling teams and it was over in a heartbeat.
The Sailors entered the final match of its showdown with Rifle with a chance to pull even, but Jose Prado ended that hope with style, lifting Steamboat’s Cole Sittig, tossing him to the mat and falling on him to claim the pin. Rifle hung on to its lead and won its second matchup in the Steamboat Triangular.
The Bears beat Steamboat, 44-33 and Palisade, 42-29.
Palisade, meanwhile, beat Steamboat 43-33.
“I’ve been working with Jose on that move for the last three weeks,” Rifle coach John Wisniewski said. “He’s a short guy and you kind of look at him and wonder, but he gets out there and it’s nothing but explosion.”
Despite the 0-2 record, the Sailors had plenty of highlights. They won five matches outright against Rifle. Colton Pasternak at 106 pounds, Dakota Thevdt at 113, Colton Crawford at 120 and Connor O’Brien at 182 all pinned their opponents to win.
Brandon Yeager then pulled out a overtime win in a thrilling match at 195 pounds. He led 4-2 late, but Rifle’s Clayton Coombs tied things up with five seconds remaining. Yeager scored a takedown in the overtime period, however, setting up the drama in the heavyweight division.
“We had never been elevated like that before. You don’t see the big guys get picked up off the mat like that,” Steamboat coach Shane Yeager said of the Prado-Sittig match. “Brandon wrestled a good, tough match. He didn’t give up and pushed all the way to the end.”
Rifle got wins in that dual from Drake Montgomery at 132, Oscar Ruelas at 138, Ethan Strouse at 145, Richard Bell at 170 and Prado at heavyweight.
The Bears also picked up wins from Coombs, Strouse, Alex Rivas and Zach Wisniewski against Palisade.
“I’m ecstatic,” John Wisniewski said. “We’ve had our trials and tribulations. We had a couple of our top guns out, but we had freshmen fill in well. It was great to get two wins.”
Against Palisade, Steamboat got wins from Devin Scanlon at 220 pounds, Crawford, O’Brien and Brandon Yeager.
“Those are two of the toughest teams in our region,” Shane Yeager said. “To be able to wrestle like we did against them, to hold our own and have a chance, that’s pretty good. We keep getting better.”
The Sailors are back in action Friday at a tournament in Evergreen.