Crowning Classic champs: GJ’s Thompson wins 103-pound title
It took a trip to Fargo, N.D., for Dylon Thompson to find his way to the top of the medal stand.
The Grand Junction High School sophomore gained the confidence he needed in the Fargo Nationals last summer to win his first Warrior Classic title Saturday night at Mesa State College’s Brownson Arena.
Roosevelt, ranked second in Class 4A, equaled Moffat County’s feat by winning a fourth consecutive Warrior Classic title, holding off Class 4A’s top-ranked team, Broomfield, 181.5-177.
Montrose took third place with 157.5 points. Palisade placed sixth, Central was seventh, Grand Junction ninth and Fruita Monument 15th.
Olathe won the small-school team title with 104.5 points, good enough for 10th overall. Grand Valley was right behind the Pirates with 94 points.
Grand Valley had three champions, including the upper weights outstanding wrestler, Ryan Gallegos. Broomfield’s Colton Hacker won the lower weights award.
Thompson (13-0) pinned Delta’s Mykal DeHerrera in 1:30 in the 103-pound final.
“It is different coming from sixth to first,” Thompson said. “It was hard work over the summer.”
Thompson had a memorable summer, placing third in the Fargo Nationals tournament.
“That’s the toughest tournament,” Thompson said. “That helped me so much more mentally. That tournament breaks you.”
Thompson, though, was more pleased than ecstatic after his win Saturday.
“I’m one step closer to state,” he said. “I want to win state this year.”
Matthew Gurule was disappointed in how he wrestled on his way to winning a second consecutive Warrior Classic crown.
“I didn’t wrestle as good as I wanted to,” he said. “I felt fine; I just didn’t wrestle well.”
Gurule (15-0) defeated Timothy Urenda of Pueblo South 4-2 in the 112-pound final.
Casey Lynn won his third Warrior Classic title in a battle of top-ranked wrestlers, but the senior couldn’t help but think of what could’ve been.
“It’s kind of frustrating,” the Montezuma-Cortez 135-pounder said. “Last year, I was right there. If I worked harder I could be the second four-timer. That gave me a lot of motivation for (this year). You always want to do better.”
He pinned Rocky Mountain’s Jeremy Luna in 1:38.
Montrose’s Jordon Passehl won the 189-pound title with an 8-5 decision over Dove Creek’s Justin Guynes.
“Since I was young I’ve seen kids win it and it’s pretty cool,” Passehl said. “People that don’t know wrestling know the Warrior.”
Hacker won the 119-pound title in a matchup of the Class 5A’s and 4A’s top-ranked wrestlers for his second title, defeating Rocky Mountain’s Jeremey Schmitt 19-4.
Grand Valley’s Rick Gallegos finally got a monkey off his back, winning his first big tournament.
The three-time state runner-up and 2008 Warrior Classic runner-up defeated Broomfield’s Jordon Gutierrez 5-2 in the 145-pound final.
“I finally won a big one,” Gallegos said. “I’m ready for the state tournament.”
Grand Valley teammates Jared Tonder (140) and Tyler Miles (152) won their first titles as well.
Olathe’s Kyle Piatt won his first Warrior Classic title, defeating Blake Nygren of Roosevelt in the 160 final.
“I’ve never seen that kid before, but he looked strong,” Piatt said. “I had to stay focused and have fun with it.”
Other champions were Broomfield’s Jerry Huff (125), Nick Babcock (130), Josh Van Tine (171), Rocky Mountain’s Greg Smith (215) and Pueblo South’s Chris Maynes (285).