King pin

GJ's Trujillo pins way to Warrior Classic title

Paonia’s Morgan Rieder celebrates Saturday after defeating Eagle Valley’s Ty LaFramboise to win the 195-pound Warrior Classic crown. The Eagles also won the team title with 204.5 points.

Grand Junction’s Jacob Trujillo gets the upper hand Saturday night in his 145-pound Warrior Classic championship match with Rocky Mountain’s Danny Clark. Trujillo pinned Clark in 3 minutes, 11 seconds — Trujillo’s 16th straight pin to start the season.

Fruita Monument’s Jacob Seely, top, glances at the clock Saturday during his 170-pound Warrior Classic championship match with Air Academy’s Caleb Cuneio. Seely defeated Cuneio to become the first Wildcat to win a Warrior Classic title since 2006.

Pins were not his main goal when the season started.

Now, Jacob Trujillo hopes to keep his streak alive.

The Grand Junction High School sophomore pinned his way through the Warrior Classic wrestling tournament, winning the 145-pound title Saturday night at Central High School. He pinned Rocky Mountain’s Danny Clark in 3 minutes, 11 seconds in the final.

“Going into the season, I didn’t think about the pins,” Trujillo said. “Now, I want to keep this going.

“It’s a mind-set. I want to push the pace and be as physical as I can. I almost expect myself to pin now. I’ve got to expect that for myself. If I don’t get a fall, I can still win (with that approach).”

Trujillo (16-0) has pinned all of his opponents thus far this season. He received the lower-weights outstanding wrestler award for the tournament.

“The pin is the ultimate,” Grand Junction coach Cole Allison said. “When I watch him wrestle, it’s total domination. He has the focus in his eyes that winning is not enough. He wants the kid to never want to wrestle him again. It’s just the mind-set.”

Trujillo’s accomplishment earned the applause of all wrestling fans at the tournament.

As did Paonia, winning the team title over several big schools by totaling 204.5 points. The Eagles, with three seniors, had two individual champions and eight place-winners as they claimed their second Warrior Classic championship. The previous title came in 2005.

“This was a new team. I have young kids mixed in with some older kids,” Paonia coach Andy Pipher said. “We like to try to win everything. That makes it a lot of fun. They have a lot of heart and a lot of guts. I’ve been going with these kids since they were little.”

Paonia, the top-ranked team in Class 2A, did it without returning state champion Jesse Reed, who is recovering from an undisclosed injury.

“We’re really looking forward to having him back,” Pipher said. “He’s a big part of this team. We’re looking forward to having him back after Christmas. We could’ve brought him, but we would’ve really been disappointed if he got hurt here.”

The Eagles’ Morgan Rieder pinned Eagle Valley’s Ty LaFramboise with Paonia’s signature cradle in 62 seconds in the 195-pound final. It is his first Warrior title.

“This is real tough,” Rieder said. “I had a lot of battles the past two days. It feels good to take first here.”

Paonia’s Josh Altman won the 113-pound title with an 8-5 victory over Matt Lavengood of Durango.

Altman (14-2) defeated nemesis Austin Shank of Olathe 4-1 in the semifinal. Shank won the previous five meetings between the two.

“I was feeling confident after that,” Altman said.

Fruita Monument sophomore Jacob Seely also wrestled confidently as he won his first Warrior Classic title.

Seely defeated Caleb Cuneio 4-2 in the 170-pound final. Seely was selected the upper-weights outstanding wrestler.

“I had something to prove,” he said. “I wrestled with a chip on my shoulder. I watched this tournament my whole life. I’ve dreamed about winning this since I was 10.”

Seely (11-0) is the first Fruita Monument wrestler to win a Warrior Classic title since Joe Meinhart in 2006.

Payton Tawater of Arvada West and Andy Armstrong of Eagle Valley successfully defended their Warrior Classic titles, but Roosevelt’s Jace Lopez and Arvada West’s Bennie Pachello did not.

Trenton Piatt joined his three older brothers as Warrior Classic champions. The Olathe High School junior had to defeat Paonia’s Bo Pipher for a third time in two weeks.

This time Piatt (16-0) held on for a 3-0 victory in the 120-pound final.

“I feel a part of the family,” Piatt said with a smile. “It’s difficult to beat someone a third time. Bo is a great wrestler.”

All three of Pipher’s losses this season are to Piatt. Pipher is 13-3.

Montrose’s Marcus Velasquez won the 160-pound title with a 6-4 victory over Nucla’s Tray Sickels. It was Velasquez’s first Warrior title.


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