Five Montezuma County wrestlers qualify for state tournament

Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 4:48 PM
Cameron Fury of Mancos tries turning Kremmling West Grand’s Marcos Ramirez at the 2A regionals in Delta. Fury clinched a spot in the state tournament.
Austin Hackney of Dolores prepares to pin Rhett Quackenbush of Dove Creek earlier this season. Both are headed to the state tournament at Denver’s Pepsi Center.

Montezuma County’s three high schools will send five wrestlers to the Colorado state tournament next week at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Montezuma-Cortez High School qualified one wrestler from the 3A Region tournament, and Mancos and Dolores both qualified two from the 2A Region. Dove Creek, in Dolores County, also qualified two from the 2A Region.

La Plata County’s three high schools qualified six boys for the state tournament.

Bayfield High School will lead the La Plata charge with three boys set to compete in Class 3A. Ignacio qualified two boys in Class 2A, and Durango qualified one boy in Class 4A a year after failing to send a wrestler to Denver.

Here’s how the teams did:

3A Region 1Montezuma-Cortez junior Matthew Broughton qualified for state at 138 pounds, as he placed second. He dropped an 8-2 decision in the regional championship match to Olathe junior Clay Yarnell.

As a team, Montezuma-Cortez finished 12th of 13 teams, with 66 points. Alamosa finished on top with 344 points.

Bayfield junior Daniel Westbrook was the star of the weekend. The 220-pound wrestler won all three of his regional matches. He opened with a second-period pin of Alamosa’s Logan Thompson before securing a 1-0 decision win against the region’s top seed, Jesus Garcia of Valley. In the first-place match, Westbrook made quick work of Basalt’s William Rivera with a pin in 58 seconds.

Westbrook will go into the state tournament with a 32-11 record. His regional opponents were a combined 85-37, as he made his way through a tough bracket to claim the title.

Bayfield also qualified seniors Garrett Beebe and Jake Sandrey at 138 and 145 pounds, respectively. Beebe lost a 6-0 decision to Rifle’s Colt Rohrig in the third-place match but secured his state ticket with a fourth-place result. Sandrey lost a tough 3-2 decision to Alamosa’s Kolten Hillis in the third-place match but took fourth to get back to state. Beebe and Sandrey both qualified for state a year ago.

2A Region 1Cedaredge won the 2A Region 1 meet held at Delta High School with a score of 228 points. Paonia was second with 209.5 points, and Hotchkiss placed third with 178.

Mancos was eighth with 62 points, Dolores was ninth with 50, and Dove Creek took 10th with 39 points. Ignacio placed 12th with 35 points in the 15-team field.

Ignacio earned a pair of third-place finishes to get two boys to state. Skieler Grooms, a junior, beat Norwood senior Riley Wilson in a 3-0 decision in the third-place match at 145 pounds to secure his spot.

Dustin Sanchez qualified at 152 pounds, as the junior beat Meeker sophomore Jacob Shelton with a second-period pin in the third-place match.

Dove Creek had a pair of boys qualify for state, as 106-pound freshman Gage Bailey won the regional title with a 16-10 decision win against Dolores junior Cameron Chavez in the first-place match. Both boys qualified for state.

Dove Creek senior Rhett Quackenbush placed fourth at 113 pounds to qualify. He lost a 10-0 major decision in the third-place match to Hotchkiss freshman Robert Cochran.

Dolores qualified a second wrestler at 120 pounds, as senior Austin Hackney placed fourth. He lost his third-place match via first-period pin to Cedaredge freshman Trey Geyer.

Mancos also got two boys to state, as Cameron Fury placed second at 182 pounds and Kaleb Hargraves placed second at 195 pounds. Fury, a senior, lost the regional championship match in a second-period pin to Nucla junior William Gabriel.

Hargraves, also a senior, was pinned in 15 seconds in the championship match by Hotchkiss senior Devin Curtis.

4A Region 1Host team Pueblo County won with 272.5 points. Pueblo West was second with 254.5 points, and Pueblo South took third with 153 points.

Durango placed 12th out of 14 teams with 27.5 points. Of those points, 16 were earned by senior Rashaad Liggins.

Liggins qualified for state with a 12-10 decision in the third-place match against Pueblo West senior Tanner Henderson. Liggins is 11-9 this season.

Liggins lost his quarterfinal in a 5-2 decision to Jake Gallina of Pueblo South but earned a second-period pin of Palmer Ridge’s Levan Pipia in the second consolation round. He then earned a forfeit win before taking a 6-5 decision against Air Academy’s Alex Mays to reach the third-place match.