Wrestler takes Rocky Mountain Nationals

It has been nearly a month since Kyle Kostur has touched a wrestling mat in a competitive situation but he's still as aggressive as ever.

The 130-pound senior proved he's still in season form when he competed in Denver March 23 at the Coliseum when he won the Rocky Mountain Nationals.

Kostur pinned the Wyoming state champion, from Green River, in the second period for his first Rocky Mountain title.

Kostur was joined by senior Mark Hastings, who placed fifth at the tournament, as the two lone Bulldog placers at the competition.

"It was a pretty tough tournament," Kostur said. "There were some good wrestlers who came."

One other Bulldog wrestler was in attendance at the tournament but did not fair as well as the more seasoned Moffat County wrestlers. Junior Ty Weber, who took the 2001 championship in the 152-pound class, did not place at the Rocky Mountain Nationals.

Two younger wrestlers from Craig who are not yet involved in the high school program attended the tournament but did not place.

It is easy to understand why even a former state champion would have trouble placing at the tournament because nearly the entire field was made up of former state champions.

"In my weight class there were five former champions," said Hastings, who is the 2002 125-pound champion. "The two guys I lost against were two-time state champions from South Dakota and Arizona."

Kostur and Hastings will once again challenge themselves Saturday in Cleveland in the Senior National Tournament.

The Ohio-based tournament is anticipated to be one of the toughest because to qualify a wrestler has to be a state champion or runner-up.

Kostur and Hastings are the only two Bulldogs traveling east for the tournament but both have experience in similar high-caliber competitions. Hastings has wrestled in similar free-style nationals and Kostur attended Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D., two years ago.

"You pretty much have to wrestle mistake free at a tournament like this," Kostur said. "But I'm hoping to at least place if not make it to the finals."

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