Feeling better: Delta’s Taylor recovers from cold to advance to 4A regional semifinals
The week couldn’t have started out much worse for Dylon Taylor.
The Delta High School 152-pound senior was fighting a cold in the biggest week of his wrestling season.
However, Taylor regained his strength in time to win two matches Friday in the preliminary rounds of the Class 4A Region 4 tournament at Brownson Arena. He is one win away from qualifying for state for the first time in his high school career.
“It was tough,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to make it to state. I’ve dreamed of going. I really want to make it.”
Taylor is one of six Delta wrestlers in the semifinals. The Panthers are in second place with 76.5 points.
Palisade has eight wrestlers in the semifinals to lead the team race with 82 points. Cañon City and Durango are tied for third with 69 points. Montrose is fifth with 51.
Dalton Hannigan squeaked out a 2-1 triple overtime victory over Montrose’s Jeremiah Banuelos at 112 pounds to lead the Bulldogs.
“Both kids did a good job,” Palisade coach Brian Rush said. “It came down to a little bit of conditioning. Both kids were in good shape, it just happened we came out on top.”
Hannigan, who beat Banuelos by a similar score earlier this season, scored a reverse for the win.
“He has a lot of heart,” Rush said. “He found a way at the end and that’s what you’ve got to do in a lot of these type of matches.”
Justin Ray (119), Daniel Salazar (125), Mason Day (135), Zach Judis (171), Kyle Hatcher (189), Trevan Gardner (215) and Joey Dupre (285) advanced to the semifinals as well.
Montrose’s Cole Panter reached the 215-pound semifinals, pinning Moffat County’s Ben Winslow in 1:12 in the quarterfinals.
“I came out with an incentive to win and fight hard the whole time,” Panter said. “I usually don’t look at my opponents so I don’t get psyched up. I just go hard every match and hope for the pin.”
Panter, a junior, is a first-year varsity wrestler. He wrestled on the junior varsity behind state champion Jordan Passehl last year.
“The intensity level on varsity is way different than JV,” Panter said. “My goal this year is to fight hard no matter who I’m wrestling.
“If I go to state, that would mean a lot to me. I need to open that door. It would be great just to be there. I haven’t given too much thought about it.”
Other Montrose wrestlers in the semifinals are Geordon Hudson (125), Drew Schumann (130), Kordell Bradshaw (135), Marcus Velasquez (140) and Bryce Gaber (171).
Delta’s Mykal DeHerrera (103), Shane Anderson (112), Rudy Fantin (135), Nathan Trujillo (145) and Michael Patton (215) are in the semifinals with Taylor.
The semifinals get underway at 9 a.m. today.