Termentozzi determined to win

Taylor Termentozzi wrestles at 171 pounds for Fruita Monument High School.

When Taylor Termentozzi hit the mat last Saturday for his team’s annual Wildcat Invitational duals tournament, he looked like a different wrestler than the one who ended his season last February by going 1-2 at the Class 5A state tournament.

“Now I know it’s my last year,” Termentozzi said. “You’ve got no more excuses.”

He’s also different physically, adding 19 pounds since last season.

Termentozzi got his first taste of the state tournament last year. As he quickly realized, it’s a lot different
than the regular season.

“Winning a single match at state, it’s small potatoes,” he said.

Termentozzi has his sights set on a giant, loaded baked potato in a couple of months.

“It’s little goals (right now),” he said. “The big goal is taking state.”

That’s a lofty aspiration, especially considering he’s moved up two weight classes this season.

Termentozzi began last season wrestling at 160 pounds. After competing in the Wasatch Duals and the Warrior Classic before the winter break, he decided to wrestle at 152 beginning in January.

He reached the regional finals and qualified for state.

“I just hit the gym hard after last year,” he said.

In addition to the weight room, he spent a lot of time on the practice mat honing his moves and entered a couple of freestyle tournaments this fall.

“I started running and I started polishing off my moves,” Termentozzi said. “The faster I do my moves, the better I’m going to be in the heavy weights.

Termentozzi got off to a great start Saturday, winning all four of his matches, three by pin.

At 6-foot-2, he’s tall for a 171-pounder.

“I can use my leverage better,” he said. “I use my tilt, cradles and chicken wing. Those are all good leverage moves.”

The next couple of weeks will be a good barometer for Termentozzi. He and his teammates wrestle nine duals in two days at this weekend’s Wasatch Duals in Heber City, Utah. After that, it’s the annual Warrior Classic. He’s guaranteed to see stiff competition at both tournaments.

“That’s some of the best in Utah,” he said of what he expects to see this weekend. “It gets me more prepared for the Warrior.”

Which, if he has his way, only gets him more prepared for his ultimate goal: to stand atop the medals stand at the Pepsi Center in February.


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