Bulldogs wrestlers defend regional title

The Moffat County High School wrestling team won its second regional title Saturday in two years, and qualified thirteen wrestlers to the state tournament.

Junior Deric Dill (112-pounds) lost in the first round to Cody Ward of Rifle, and again in the finals of the consolation round to Derek Brewer of Delta in a 16-1 technical fall that put Dill into fifth place.

"We saw a lot of good wrestlers at Montrose (regionals)," coach Roman Gutierrez said. "I was pleased with how many kids we qualified, because there are a lot of good wrestlers from the Western Slope who won't be going to state after this weekend it was a tough tournament."

Four Bulldogs won regional titles, including seniors Mark Hastings, Ryan and Travis Linsacum and junior Ty Weber.

It was common territory for Hastings (125-pounds) and Weber (152-pounds) when they reached the finals, with each meeting wrestlers they had seen at least three times before the regional tournament.

Hastings beat Justin Hampton of Rifle 16-1 in the finals. Hampton is the No. 2 ranked wrestler in Class 4A, second to No. 1 ranked Hastings.

Weber met Dusty Vaughn for the seventh time in his career Saturday in the finals. Vaughn has scored only two wins against Weber, and nothing changed when Weber won a 3-1 decision in the finals.

The surprise loss in the championship round came in the 130-pound weight class, when Moffat County's Kyle Kostur fell to Montezuma-Cortez's Tyler Gray. Kostur had only one loss before the regional tournament, when he lost a one-point match at the Top of the Rockies Tournament to No. 1 ranked Class 5A wrestler Kyle Swenson of Centauras.

Kostur's loss at regionals had an eerie similarity to the Top of the Rockies loss, when he dropped a 4-3 decision to Gray.

"Gray only had one loss coming into regionals, so he had the record to contend," Gutierrez said. "Kostur is the kind of kid that will rebound off a loss like this and hopefully turn it into motivation for a good state meet. And hopefully meet Gray again."

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