Kings of the valley

Trujllo tops Rodriguez to win 145-pound state title

Grand Junction’s Jacob Trujillo flips Fruita Monument’s Isaac Rodriguez on his head Saturday night during the Class 5A 145-pound championship match at the Pepsi Center. Trujillo won 10-4 in the first matchup of District 51 rivals in a state title match in 21 years.

Fruita Monument’s Isaac Rodriguez tries to escape the grasp of Grand Junction’s Jacob Trujillo during the Class 5A 145-pound state title match on Saturday. Trujillo won 10-4 in the first matchup of District 51 rivals in a state title match in 21 years.

Fruita Monument’s Jacob Seely, top, subdues Fossil Ridge’s Dalton Riba during Saturday’s fifth-place match at 170 pounds. Seely won 17-4, but was disappointed in his finish. “The mistakes I did out there, I’ve been doing all year. I need to fix those so I can be on top next year,” the Wildcat sophomore said.

DENVER — Jacob Trujillo hung on to his last loss in the state wrestling finals and carried it with him.

One year later, the Grand Junction High School sophomore could let it go.

Trujillo (47-0) defeated District 51 rival Isaac Rodriguez 10-4 to cap a perfect season with the Class 5A 145-pound state title Saturday night at the Pepsi Center. It was the first time in 21 years two wrestlers from the Grand Valley wrestled for a state title.

“I had this in my thoughts all season, the end of last year,” Trujillo said. “It kind of haunted me, but it made me work harder. I knew that wasn’t going to happen again. I had to work for it and make it happen.”

Trujillo (82-3 in his two prep seasons) clapped his hands several times after the match, then pointed to his family and Grand Junction supporters in the stands as his hand was raised by the official.

“This is what you worked hard for all season, day-in and day-out, to achieve a goal,” Trujillo said. “It feels good to point up there after I won.”

Rodriguez (31-6) attempted to score early in the first period, but Trujillo was ready for his shot. Trujillo finally scored the first takedown late in the first period for a 2-0 lead.

After cutting Rodriguez loose, Trujillo took him down again for a 4-1 lead. By the end of the second period Trujillo led 6-2. Trujillo scored two more takedowns in the third period.

“I wrestled like crap,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know what happened, really. I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t wrestle like myself.”

Trujillo’s margin of victory was a bit of a surprise in that Rodriguez wrestled him close in the previous two meetings this season.

Trujillo defeated Rodriguez 4-1 in the Jackpot Duals in early January, then again 7-3 at the end of January in a dual. They met in the regional final, but Rodriguez forfeited to avoid potentially further damaging an injured bursa sac.

“He’s a tough kid,” Trujillo said. “It’s different wrestling someone from the same town, but you have to wrestle the same. I knew I had to wrestle the toughest I ever have.”

The last time two District 51 wrestlers met in the state finals was 1992, when Grand Junction’s Richard Valdez defeated Fruita Monument’s Lucas Archuleta 3-1 for the Class 5A 130-pound title at McNichols Sports Arena. Both were seniors.

Pomona won the team title with 125 points. Fruita Monument was 12th with 42.5, Grand Junction 21st with 31.5 and Central 37th with 9.5.

Fruita Monument sophomore Jacob Seely took fifth place at 170 pounds. He defeated Dalton Riba of Fossil Ridge 17-4.

“I didn’t get the medal I wanted, but I still consider it a feat to battle back and place,” Seely said.

Seely (46-8), who was ranked second most of the season, had his sights set on a state title this season. He placed fifth at 160 pounds last year as a freshman.

“I felt like I was a contender (for the state title),” he said. “The mistakes I did out there, I’ve been doing all year. I need to fix those so I can be on top next year.”

Seely made a mistake in a rematch with Arvada West’s Tony Silva-Bussey in the consolation semifinals that cost him a chance to wrestle for third place.

After Seely scored a takedown to tie the match 4-4 in the third period, he was hit with a second stalling call, giving Silva-Bussey a 5-4 victory. Seely defeated Silva-Bussey 5-3 in the Warrior Classic semifinals earlier this season.

Silva-Bussey took third place.


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