CEDAREDGE — Trey Geyer capitalized on his biggest test of the season in style Friday night.
Beneath the gym’s sole, glaring light, the Cedaredge High School senior, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A at 126 pounds, faced off against Palisade’s Jacob Lee, ranked eighth in the weight class in 4A. From the start, Geyer was in control.
After staying on top of Lee for the first two periods for a 14-2 lead, Geyer pinned him 11 seconds into the third.
“I think it’s a pretty big confidence-builder, but I have some of the best partners in the state like Adrian Nieto and AJ Robidoux, all ranked guys,” Geyer said. “I think they’re just as good as that competition, so I’m getting that stuff daily. But it’s better to get some fresh meat and know what I need to work on instead of knowing what guys are going to do constantly.”
Geyer went 2 for 2 in pinning ranked opponents Friday. Later, he pinned Hotchkiss’ Robert Cochran, ranked fifth in 2A.
Other ranked Cedaredge wrestlers went 3-1 against Palisade, with Robidoux (No. 7 at 138) earning an 11-2 major decision over Nate Bollinger, Ty Walck (No. 4 at 170) pinning Joshua Contreras and Derek Sanchez (No. 8 at 285) pinning Caleb Castro.
However, it was Palisade that came away with a 43-34 win over the third-ranked hosts of a triangular that also included Hotchkiss. Palisade beat Hotchkiss 60-21 and Cedaredge beat Hotchkiss 69-9.
“It’s more to build our self-esteem as a team and bring us closer together and raise our hopes for going into regionals,” Robidoux said. “We’re trying to be four-time regional champs. Without going against these bigger teams, we’ll never overstep that with our own region.”
For the Bulldogs, Mikey Salazar (No. 11 at 113), Keyton Young (No. 8 at 120), Judah Guajardo (No. 3 at 132), Franklin Barks (No. 10 at 152) and Zach Barnett all pinned their Bruins foes. At 145, Palisade’s Lodan Head and Cedaredge’s Nieto, No. 6 in 2A, entered the third period scoreless before Head won a 4-0 decision with a pair of takedowns.
“I personally don’t keep up with the rankings because I know that upsets happen,” Head said. “I know there’s a lot of great kids that are out there who aren’t ranked. I’m just happy that my team works as hard as they do. If we came out here slow and flat, we weren’t going to win.”
Guajardo, ranked second in 4A’s Metro Region, knows spots for the state tournament are more limited this year and that elite competition before regionals is at a premium. He went 2-0 on the evening, topping Cedaredge’s Lucar Hoerr and Hotchkiss’ Nathan Guy, but he missed out on a chance to potentially face Geyer.
“This year is weird. Only two people go to state,” Guajardo said. “I’ve been looking at regional rankings and stuff. I was hoping for a different match, but it’s all preparation, so it’s about trying new moves and conditioning, really.”
The honor of facing Geyer went to Lee, who didn’t face much easier competition in Palisade’s next dual against the Western Slope’s 2A Bulldogs. He dropped a 2-1 decision to Cochran.
Palisade largely dominated against Hotchkiss, especially benefiting from forfeits, but Hotchkiss’ Traycer Hall (No. 1 at 160) and Justin Mattison (No. 11 at 170), who both placed at the state tournament last season, both pinned their opponents.
“It’s just fun to get out and wrestle,” Hall said. “For us, we kind of like tournaments more, but as long as we’re out here wrestling, we’re getting better. We’re growing as a team and that’s what it’s about. Win or lose, as long as you enjoy what you’re doing, that’s it.”
In the Cedaredge-Hotchkiss dual, Hotchkiss’ Christian came out on top against Sanchez, and Hall also pinned his opponent, but the Bruins won all the other matches. Walck pinned Mattison in the second period at 170.