Champions win big and champions fall hard.
The Moffat County High School varsity wrestling team had an up-and-down performance in day two of the Colorado High School State Wrestling Championships in Denver.
In the Class 4A team standings Friday at the Pepsi Center, the Bulldogs were in second place with 96.5 points. Alamosa paced the field with 111 points and CaCity was a close third at 93 points.
"We just really have to come back through the back door," said Bulldogs coach Roman Gutierrez. "Our backs are against the wall with Alamosa. They are ahead of us and so we are going to really hustle in there. I have confidence with these kids coming back."
Sophomore Mark Hastings (38-3) wasted little time at 112 pounds to open the championship round for the Bulldogs. He earned a berth in the finals by pinning senior Matt Martinez (30-8) of Pueblo Centennial within the first minute of the opening period.
"I put a move on him (sanders cradle) in the first period and I was able to get him down," said Hastings, who finished in fifth place at state a year ago. "He was a tough guy and I knew that I had to pin him or it was going to be a tough match. This is the best feeling ever making it to the finals. It was also important for me to get a pin for the team, because that will help out in the team standings."
The big upset of the night was at 140 pounds. Senior Kurtis Kostur (36-2) was knocked into the consolation bracket by senior Chris Carrillo (36-3) of Pueblo Central.
It was a rough match as Kostur was forced to take a timeout early after a head-butt cut his lip. The two wrestled to a 4-4 tie after the first two minutes of action. In the second period Kostur scored two escapes and Carrillo scored a takedown to head into the final period knotted at 6-6.
In the final period, Carrillo scored a takedown and a near fall to escape with the 10-8 victory.
Kostur was set to wrestle back through the consolation rounds today for a shot at matching his third-place finish of last year.
Sophomore Cody Fredrickson (22-8) was the surprise of the night for the Bulldogs as he pinned senior Chris Maes (25-8) of Pueblo East in the third period to make it to the championships round. Fredrickson was leading 5-4 at the pin in the 145-pound match.
"In the third period it was my decision and I picked bottom," said Fredrickson, who earlier upset the No. 1 seed. "I got him reversed and put him to his back. I just pinned him. I don't know exactly what happened; it was so quick."
"When you are the underdogs sometimes that helps you out," he said.
"Sometimes they overlook you and lots of times it helps."
In the last semifinal of the night for the Bulldogs, 152-pound senior Jeremiah Noland (36-3) pinned senior Dan Price (33-4) of Fort Lupton in the first period.
"I was just hoping for a pin to help the team out," said Noland, who finished in second place a year ago at state in the 145-pound weight class. "I put a (sanders cradle) move on him. It's a defensive move. You pin him lots of times."
Noland believes the Bulldogs are positioned for a successful final day at the tournament.
"I feel that our team is doing well and we have a chance against CaCity," Noland said. "We just have to pin people."
Fredrickson edged junior Case Gabel (37-1) of Valley, 5-1. Earlier this season Gabel pinned Fredrickson in the Moffat County High School Dog Fight Dual Tournament.
Fredrickson, who finished third at the Class 4A West Region tournament last weekend in Grand Junction, wrestled to a scoreless first period tie. In the second period, Fredrickson scored three points on a near fall and two points on a takedown while Gabel only managed an escape.
"I got a little bit more physical and I started to mix things up a little bit," said Fredrickson. "I got his confidence shaken and then from there on I dominated the match. He got hurt early in the first quarter and he started to worry, because he hasn't been in that position before. I just got real tough and I started trying some moves and I got them. I got ahead in the second period."
Hastings advanced to the semifinals with 10-0 win against sophomore Jake Robl (30-11) of Grandview.
Sophomore Travis Linsacum (35-6) dropped into the consolation bracket in the 125-pound weight class after a 9-3 setback at the hands of junior Lewis Hyatt (28-6) of CaCity.
Ryan Linsacum (37-5) also fell in the second round to Rocko Busewell (38-8) of Lakewood, 5-2, in the 130-pound class.
Freshman Ty Weber ran into a brick wall against senior Dustin Rodman (34-4) of Alamosa, dropping a technical fall decision, 19-2, in the 135-pound match.
Kurtis Kostur marched into the semifinals with a second period pin against Evergreen senior Danny Moore (31-10). Kostur had a commanding 10-0 lead when the pin took place.
Noland followed suite with a technical fall, 13-2, for the Bulldogs against senior Brandon Delgrosso (21-12) of Alamosa at 152 pounds.
Sophomore Kyle Kostur (33-7), 119 pounds, stayed alive in the tournament with a first period pin against junior Eric Griego (13-16) of Pueblo Centennial, but was latter knocked out by Thunderidge junior Adam Neumeyer (26-3).
At 160 pounds, senior Coalin Hume (29-7) downed senior Jason Ornelas (16-5) of Adams City, 11-6, but finished the night by falling to junior Dominic Wilson (30-9) of Dakota Ridge, 4-1.
Senior Kevin Field (22-16) slipped past Pueblo Centennial senior Chris Briggs (18-4) of Pueblo Centennial, 5-1, at 171 pounds, but latter was sent packing with a 5-2 loss against senior Jeremy Gilkerson of CaCity (19-9).
Travis Linsacum bounced back from his earlier defeat to cruise past senior Russ Pike (16-7) of Pueblo County, 17-5.
Ryan Linsacum stayed in the tournament with a 9-4 victory over Clint Berhimer (28-6), a senior from Cheyenne Mountain.
"Everybody understands that every point counts right now," said Gutierrez. "Everybody is battling for the points and that's all we can ask of them."
Consolation matches begin at 12:30 p.m. today with the championship matches starting at 7 p.m.