Central’s Gurule, Grand Junction’s Hoffschneider fall in Class 5A finals

Grand Junction’s Jessie Hoffschneider grapples with Cherry Creek’s Tanner Hirstine during Hoffschneider’s 3-1 loss in the 140-pound championship match Saturday at the Pepsi Center.



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Grand Junction’s Jessie Hoffschneider grapples with Cherry Creek’s Tanner Hirstine during Hoffschneider’s 3-1 loss in the 140-pound championship match Saturday at the Pepsi Center.

DENVER — Matthew Gurule and Jessie Hoffschneider each had a shot at avenging their most recent loss.

Problem was, they couldn’t finish many shots in their Class 5A state championship matches and ended up state runners-up.

Gurule, a Central High School senior, and Hoffschneider, a Grand Junction sophomore, were beaten by the same foes who beat them in regional finals last weekend.

Pine Creek’s Josh Martinez defeated Gurule 3-0 in the 112-pound final Saturday night at the Pepsi Center. Martinez pinned Gurule in regionals.

Cherry Creek senior Tanner Hirstine defeated Hoffschneider 3-1 in the 140-pound final.

It was the first state title for Martinez and Hirstine.

Ponderosa’s Jake Snider completed his quest, becoming the 16th four-time state champion,  and Rocky Mountain’s Jeremy Schmitt won his third state title.

Snider (41-1) defeated Coronado’s Jared Rieck in the 145-pound final to lead the Mustangs to their eighth consecutive team title.

Schmitt defeated Chance Leingang of Loveland for the 119-pound title.

Martinez (45-1) avenged a loss to Gurule in the 103-pound state final last year.

“This is the most amazing feeling in my whole life,” Martinez said. “It’s the greatest feeling ever. I made no mistakes. I wrestled my match.”

Gurule (45-2) declined to speak to the media after his match.

“We wanted (Matthew) to be aggressive and go push him,” Central coach Laurence Gurule said. “Matthew’s had one or two takedowns in the previous five matches against him.”

Hofschneider had a hard time scoring on Hirstine (28-1).

“He was real defensive on his shots,” Hoffschneider said. “It was hard to get in on him.

“We worked on different technique and shots this week, but the bad thing is, I didn’t try any of them. I didn’t want to risk trying them after (practicing) just one week on them.”

Hirstine defeated Hoffschneider 5-3 in the regional finals last week.

Hoffschneider (37-4), though, was pleased with his season.

“I feel like all the hard work paid off and it shows,” Hoffschneider said. “Now, I’m going to work toward going from second to first.”

Central’s Zach Short has his sights set on a state title next year after placing third this season.

The 152-pound junior (34-13) defeated Pomona’s Justin Frazier 9-5. It was the first time Short beat Frazier in three meetings this season.

“I did a lot of extra work over the summer,” Short said. “I’m happy it paid off. I went to a lot of camps. I did a 28-day camp in Minnesota. That helped a lot.”

The junior plans to go to several camps again this summer in hopes of winning a state title next year.

“As soon as I started in second grade,” Short said of the moment he decided he wanted to win a state wrestling title. “My parents and I were flipping through the Parks & Rec program and saw wrestling. It sounded good.

“I’m going to try to do a lot of stuff over the summer again,” Short said. “I want to come back even tougher.”

Grand Junction 103-pound sophomore Dylon Thompson (38-4) took fourth place.

Kegan Gavaldon of Fort Collins (37-3) pinned Thompson in 4:38.

Fruita Monument’s Matt Remy finished one round shy of placing for the second consecutive year. The 215-pound senior (32-10) lost a 5-4 decision to Chatfield’s Aaron Norris.

Ponderosa won the team title with 126.5 points and Coronado finished second with 108.5.



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