Moving on up: Ruiz’s win in higher weight class lifts Central past GJ
Oscar Ruiz knew he had to find a way to win even though he had to wrestle a heavier opponent.
The Central High School junior pinned Grand Junction’s Rory Wick with 19 seconds left in the match Wednesday night to lead the Warriors to a 32-30 victory over Grand Junction at Central High School.
“The kid was really huge,” Ruiz said. “He almost outweighed me by 10 pounds. I knew I had to do it for my team. I went out there with my head high.”
Ruiz weighed in at 104.5 pounds and was originally going to wrestle at his normal weight class of 103, but Central coach Laurence Gurule bumped him up to the 112-pound class to give the Warriors a chance to win the dual.
“I told (Ruiz), ‘If we’re going to do this, you’re going to have to wrestle well. You’re going to have to go get that pin,’ ” Gurule said. “It looked like he was going to get the win, but he got the pin, which is nice.”
Central originally was open at 112 pounds because its normal 112-pounder hasn’t been able to make weight. That would’ve given the Tigers six points for a forfeit victory.
Instead, Gurule opted to put junior varsity wrestler Darrin Collins in at 103 pounds to receive a forfeit victory and bump Ruiz up to 112 pounds instead of taking a forfeit loss. Ruiz’s victory gave Central enough points to hold off the Tigers.
“You want to win and give the kids confidence,” Gurule said. “We’re at home and I don’t think anybody wants to lose at home. We had to win that flip to get our choice and get the forfeit.”
Grand Junction won five of the final six matches to take a 30-26 lead, but Central won by forfeit at 152 pounds to give the Warriors the win. Central’s Anthony Feller won by technical fall in 4:05 at 130.
“It was my fault we lost that dual,” Grand Junction coach Cole Allison said. “I was under the assumption you could not wrestle in the JV dual and wrestle in the varsity.”
Allison could’ve inserted a JV wrestler in at 103 pounds and possibly won that match instead of giving up six points with a forfeit loss. The Tigers had to forfeit at 152 pounds as well because Everett Tucker broke his leg in practice earlier this week and is out for the rest of the season, Allison said.
The Tigers opened the dual with a victory at 160 pounds when Gage Casey rallied from another early deficit to defeat Lester Miranda 9-7.
Caleb Hendricks put Central on the scoreboard with a 6-1 victory over Jonny Pauli at 171, but Grand Junction’s Robbie Gonzales won a decision at 189 and Dylan Reed pinned Thomas Holman to give the Tigers a 12-3 lead.
Kyle Jamison pulled the Warriors within striking distance, pinning Sam Monahan in 28 seconds in the heavyweight match to set up the chess match at 103.
Grand Junction’s Dylon Thompson (119), Chase Arrieta (125), Keenan Hall (135), Kamron Medina (140) and Jessie Hoffschneider (145) won matches. Hall pinned Jon Sullivan in 2:28.
Central wrestles in the Top of the Rockies tournament hosted by Centaurus in Lafayette on Friday and Saturday. Grand Junction wrestles Saturday at the Northglenn Invitational.