Bruggink, several area 2A wrestlers qualify

Prestine Bonine, top, of 112 lb Paonia ties up Ryan Petty of Rangley—Bonine won the championship.

Soroco High School freshman Lauryn Bruggink became the second girl in Colorado prep history to qualify for the state wrestling tournament when she placed second at 103 pounds Saturday at the Class 2A Region 1 tournament at Palisade.

Bruggink (14-11) defeated her first two opponents before being pinned by Hayden’s Chad Terry in the finals.

“It feels really cool,” Bruggink said. “I don’t think it’s quite kicked in just yet, but I’m sure it will.”

Bruggink’s father, Travis Bruggink, is Soroco’s assistant coach and a two-time former state champion for the Rams.

The state tournament starts at 3 p.m. on Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver and Bruggink will have one of the first matches of the tournament.

Paonia had four individual champions and eight other qualifiers to beat its closest competition, Rangely, by nearly 50 points to win the team title.

Seniors Justin Iacovetto and Lukas Wiggins won at 119 and 152, respectively, and juniors Preston Bonine and K.C. Martin took home titles at 112 and 171 for the Eagles.

Bonine came into the regional as a three seed, but upset both the No. 2 seed by pin and No. 1 seed with a two-point victory to win his first regional championship.

“I love the feeling, going out there and beating the odds,” Bonine said. “I love being the underdog.”

Bonine said he was proud of his team’s performance, and after qualifying but not placing at state last year, he’s excited for what he said is going to be a fun state tournament.

Rangely took second place, with 10 wrestlers finishing in the top three. The Panthers had two individual champs, Devon Rose at 125 pounds and Kindal Cushman at 285.

Rose (34-6) has qualified three times for the state tournament, but this will be Cushman’s first state tournament in his first year wrestling. The junior spent the past two seasons playing basketball.

Rangely coach Jeff LeBleu was pleased with the Panthers’ performance Saturday after letting several key matches Friday slip through their grasp. The coach said two wrestlers exceeded his expectations: 145-pounder Ryan Cramer, who placed third, and 215-pounder Mike Dillon, who
placed second.

The Hayden Tigers and Norwood Mavericks took third and fourth, respectively, with each team crowning three individual champions.

Norwood 140-pounder Hugh Hardman (37-0) pinned his way to a championship and put on a takedown clinic in the finals before pinning Rangely junior Travis Witherell.

Dove Creek’s lone champion was 145-pounder Colten Huskey. Huskey (36-1) won by pin in the first period in all three of his matches.

Meeker finished in seventh place with 47 points and Soroco finished ninth, with Bruggink its only wrestler qualifying for state.


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