Montrose’s Hudson caps career with 4A title
DENVER — Geordon Hudson doesn’t have a flashy move, but he had what it takes to win a state title.
The Montrose High School senior capped his prep career with his first state title, defeating two-time champion Nick Swanson of Wheat Ridge 4-3 on Saturday night in the Class 4A 145-pound final at the Pepsi Center.
“It means a lot,” Hudson said. “It makes the accomplishment so much more sweet. Everybody kept saying if I wrestled my match and kept going at it I’d come out on top. I believed in myself.
“It’s awesome. It’s like no other feeling in the world. All the hard work pays off.”
Hudson (43-3) is only the second of seven Montrose wrestlers to reach the finals and win a state title in the past three years. The other was Jordan Passehl.
“He’s worked his (butt) off all year and it paid off,” Montrose coach Kevin Passehl said. “He’s a perfect example (of working hard for results). If a kid can’t look at him and see what it takes, they might not pan out. He shows up every day and works hard. He never has a bad word to say about anyone.”
Montrose took fifth place with 97.5 points. Palisade placed 12th with 45.5 points.
Swanson (35-2) scored a reverse early in the third period to take a 2-1 lead, but Hudson escaped, then took Swanson down and held on for the upset victory.
“I knew I had to wrestle a full six minutes,” Hudson said. “He hit a short carry and I managed to squirm out of it. I just fought and fought and got behind his arms to get control and held on.”
“He worked harder than I did,” Swanson said. “That’s the reason I lost.”
Hudson took third as sophomore and sixth last year.
Montrose sophomore Jeremiah Banuelos reached the 120-pound final in his first state tournament.
Discovery Canyon’s Steve Turner, though, pinned Banuelos in the second period. Turner, a junior, is a three-time state qualifier and two-time state placer.
Palisade’s Daniel Salazar came close, but couldn’t pull off an upset for his first state title.
Valor Christian’s Cody Weitzel scored a reversal in the third period and held on for a 2-1 victory over Salazar in the 132-pound final. Salazar scored an escape as time ran out.
“We went in with a good game plan,” Palisade coach Brian Rush said. “Daniel wrestled great. I thought we had a shot. We had him on his back a couple times and hoping we could score a takedown. The kid is good on top. I’m extremely proud of how Daniel wrestled.”
Salazar is a four-time state placer with two seconds, one third and one sixth.
Montrose’s Cole Panter took third place with a 6-2 victory over David Traynor of Discovery Canyon at 195 pounds.
“It feels great,” Panter said. “I lost in the second round to a guy I thought I could beat. I didn’t feel like losing was an option. I hate losing more than I like winning, if that makes sense.
“Taking third was the only option, I felt.”
Passehl was proud of Panter.
“Cole was so bummed out after that match, it would’ve been easy for him to (quit),” Passehl said.
“Last year, he kind of put his time in and didn’t care if he won or lost. This year, he turned it around. He came up to me at the Roosevelt tournament and told me he was tired of (losing). I’m proud of what he did. He was a pleasure to coach.”
Bradshaw took fourth place and capped his career as a three-time state placer. Junior Marcus Velasquez took fourth to place for the second time.
Palisade junior Justin Ray placed fourth at 126. He placed sixth at state as a freshman.
Delta senior Morgan McCracken placed capped his prep career with a sixth-place finish at 145.
Glenwood Springs had two wrestlers earn medals.
Senior Miguel Vega took fifth place at 106 and sophomore Zak Stepniewski placed fourth at 113. Steniewski won four matches in the consolation bracket to reach the third-place match.