Meeker handles wrestling bigger schools
Meeker High School, ranked ninth in Class 2A, proved it can wrestle with bigger high schools last weekend.
The Cowboys had eight wrestlers place to win the Eagle Valley Invitational with 150.5 points. Eagle Valley and Hotchkiss tied for second with 140.
Meeker had two individual champions.
J.T. Shelton, ranked fourth in the state, defeated Grand Valley’s Michael Salazar 16-5 in the 160-pound final and received the upper weights outstanding wrestler award. Teammate Tristin Pelloni won the 113-pound title, pinning Garrett Toothaker of Hotchkiss in the final.
Cody Pfau won her second tournament title of the season.
The Grand Valley 106-pound senior avenged a Warrior Classic loss en route to the Eagle Valley title with a 3-2 win over Cedaredge’s Austin Todd. Pfau has wrestled Todd three times this season, winning two meetings.
Pfau pinned Central’s Robert Doxtader in 40 seconds in the final.
Teammates Miguel Valles won the 126-pound title and Will Hinkle pinned all three opponents to take first at 152.
The Cardinals took fifth place with 112.5 points and had more individual champions than any team in the tournament.
Central had the weekend off, but junior Jacob Rubalcaba wrestled in the Eagle Valley Invitational since he missed three weeks of the season with an ankle sprain.
Rubalcaba did quite well, winning the 132-pound title to receive the lower weights outstanding wrestler award. He defeated Middle Park’s Adam Visconit 2-1 in the final.
Finally a champion
Montrose’s Emmanuel Sandoval joined teammate Marcus Velasquez as a Montrose Invitational champion.
Sandoval took advantage of an open 113-pound class without Olathe’s Austin Shank to win his first Montrose title.
“I love it,” Sandoval said. “It means a lot. I want to be a state champion someday, ever since I was little.”
Sandoval defeated Grand Junction’s Kohlby Wells 8-3 in the final.
Hotchkiss having success
Jesse Head of Hotchkiss breezed through the 138-pound bracket to win the Eagle Valley Invitational.
Head pinned all four opponents, including Meeker’s Anthony Watt in 1:57 in the final.
Hotchkiss teammate Joe Boyle won the 145-pound title. He defeated Basalt’s Ruben Chagoya 9-8 in the final.
Shank on the mend
Shank was wrestling with his older brother, Zach, over the Christmas break at a relative’s house when his hand went through a small window, cutting his hand.
It was stitched up, but it hasn’t healed enough to return to competition.
Olathe coach Tee Jay Rose said he thinks the Class 3A No. 2-ranked wrestler will be cleared to wrestle this week.
Two other Olathe wrestlers wrestled their first varsity tournament last weekend and placed.
Freshman Felix Pena (195 pounds) and sophomore Lance Kramer (220) took fourth place in the Montrose Invitational.