Finally in state finals, GJ's Martinez unable to rally for 138-pound title
DENVER — The photos won’t come down for another year.
The quest to win a state wrestling title will now go into a fourth year for Grand Junction junior Dylan Martinez.
After a gut-wrenching 3-2 loss in the Class 5A 138-pound championship match Saturday at the Pepsi Center, Martinez couldn’t hide his disappointment.
On the podium, he accepted his silver medal and walked away, shoulders slumped and head down.
Silver wasn’t the medal he has coveted since taking up the sport as a youngster.
Martinez battled Pomona sophomore Theorius Robison in a classic match. Robison (33-1) took a 1-0 lead in the second period, then turned a twisting move into a takedown for a 3-0 lead.
Martinez (40-4) rallied in the third period with a takedown to make the score 3-2 but time was running out. He came close, so very close to securing a winning takedown as the horn sounded.
Coach Cole Allison was disappointed for his wrestler after coming so close to a state title.
“It’s tough to experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows with these kids on their journey,” he said.
It was a third disappointing state tournament for Martinez.
Martinez had suffered through two tormenting semifinal losses in his first two seasons before finally breaking into the finals. Martinez was fourth as a freshman and third last year. After the semifinal loss his freshman year, which came in overtime, he posted photos of that match around his bedroom to remind him of that loss. The photos were motivation to work harder.
After the title match, Martinez and his dad, Paul, who’s an assistant coach, spent time together talking.
After Friday’s semifinal victory, Paul told his son, “I’m proud of you and I love you.”
The message Saturday night was the same.
“I just talked to him about how proud I am of him and to have pride in himself, and 365 days to be prepared for next year,” Paul said.
Martinez narrowly missed on a couple of takedown attempts with Robison fighting them off.
Robison won a state title last year as a freshman and is now on track to become Pomona’s first four-time state champion.
Martinez lost to Robison 8-7 on Jan. 14. Robison said he was surprised and impressed with how Martinez wrestled in the finals.
“He did some things different from the first time we wrestled and that surprised me,” he said. “He’s a tough opponent. He’s a tough opponent for anybody.
“He’s a great wrestler.”