Prep notebook: Wrestling weights to increase for next season

High school wrestling weight classes are shifting.

The number of weight classes stay the same (14), but the smallest weight class will now be up from 103 to 106 pounds. The rest of the weight classes are 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285.

The National Federation of State High School Associations announced the changes last week. It’s the most significant weight change in 23 years.

“The NFHS and the National Wrestling Coaches Association together have conducted a study nationwide the last four years and where a majority of the forfeits are occurring,” CHSAA Assistant Commissioner Harry Waterman said. “By moving 103 to 106, that will reduce the number of forfeits. We believe this will increase participation.

“With nutrition and weight rooms, we’re seeing more big kids these days.”

The other significant change is the 195-pound weight class, which shrinks the gap between the previous 189 and 215-pound weight classes.

“I’m not too crazy about it,” Central coach Laurence Gurule said. “I wish we still had 103 pounds. We have two boys in school now that could wrestle at 98 pounds as sophomores. One did wrestle at 103 and didn’t do very good because he was wrestling kids that were too big.”

Waterman said 60 percent of the wrestling coaches in Colorado voted against the change, but CHSAA had to follow the NFHS rule change to retain its national voting power.

Scholarship Recipients

When Alex Bennett was on the Grand Junction High School basketball team, the team water boy was Tyler Winder.

Winder grew up to be a four-year varsity basketball and football player for the Tigers, and on Monday found a way to still be a water boy for Bennett.

Winder, along with Grand Junction’s Anna McGinnis, were the two District 51 athletes to be awarded the Alex Bennett Memorial Scholarship.

Bennett died in 2003 in a car accident, and is honored every November with the Alex Bennett Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. The funds raised in the tournament go to the scholarship.

“It’s great opportunity to have my name associated with this scholarship,” Winder said. “To still be a waterboy for him feels great.”

Winder is graduating from Grand Junction with a 3.98 GPA, and is will play football at Mesa State College next fall.

Winder plans to major in athletic training.

McGinnis played two years of varsity tennis for the Tigers and qualified for the Class 5A state tennis tournament.

“I love how the (Alex Bennett) tournament can bring everyone together after such a tragic event,” McGinnis, who’s helped with the basketball tournament since its first year.

McGinnis, who’s graduating with a 3.98 GPA, is attending Regis University, and is majoring in nursing.

Is this the Year?

Hotchkiss captured its first Class 3A Western Slope League baseball title since 2004 with last week’s doubleheader sweep of Coal Ridge.

The sixth-ranked Bulldogs (17-2), who have made the district playoffs for 11 consecutive years, are looking to advance beyond districts for the first time since 2001.

District pairings will be released today and Hotchkiss will likely receive one of the top eight seeds and host a district tournament.

PALISADE RECORD

Palisade high jumper Kane Gunther broke a 49-year-old school record two weeks ago at the Thomas Jefferson Invitational.

Gunther’s leap of 6 feet, 4 inches broke Bob Flockhart’s record of 6-3, set in 1962.

This is the second Palisade school track record set this season. Olevia Shafer broke the triple jump record.

Triple Play

Paonia pitchers were aided by a rare triple play Saturday in its district championship victory over Dolores.

With runners on first and second and the Bears leading 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Dolores’ Tanner Cumpston hit a line drive back to Paonia pitcher Casey Gillenwater.

The Eagles’ lone senior caught the ball for one out, threw to first baseman Tyler Kendall for the second out, then Kendall threw to shortstop KC Christian for the third out.


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