Bulldogs kings of the Front Range hills

When junior Trevor Sloan won the Top of the Rockies Tournament Saturday it was a moment of redemption.

The 215-pound Sloan beat the winner of December's Warrior in a 5-4 decision. Sloan defeated John Grando of Pueblo South, securing fifth place in the tournament.

With 10 seconds left in the third period and a point behind, Sloan shot a single leg taking down Grando for the winning points.

"I know this doesn't mean I won the Warrior," Sloan said. "But, it means a lot to beat the kid who won it all. This tournament goes pretty high on my list for wins this season."

Sloan was the final nail in the tournament coffin, with the Bulldogs burying the rest of the competition with a team score of 194.5 points. Aztec High School from New Mexico pulled into second place with a score of 164.5, with No. 2 ranked Class 4A Alamosa taking third.

The Bulldogs started Saturday in fifth place.

Sloan was one of three Bulldogs who took top honors at the tournament, held at Louiseville's Centaurus High School. Senior Travis Linsacum won a 6-2 decision over Alamosa's Shane Gylling, who was previously undefeated.

Junior Ty Weber also took top honors at the tournament with a 10-2 decision against Uintah's (Vernal, Utah) Wayne Duncan. Weber held Duncan to one point until the third period, and by the end of the first had four points on the Utah wrestler.

The tournament wasn't all wins for the Bulldogs, who saw their final remaining undefeated wrestler fall in the final 30 seconds of his match.

Senior Kyle Kostur, who is the No. 1 ranked 130-pound Class 4A wrestler with a record of 26-0 before entering the Centaurus tournament, lost a 7-6 decision to Centaurus' No. 1 Class 5A wrestler Kyle Swenson.

The match's lead bounced back and forth between the two top ranked wrestlers, until Kostur took a one point lead with an escape in the final minute of the third period. With 30 second left Swenson shot, and took down Kostur and was able to ride him out until time expired.

"No wrestler wants to lose," Gutierrez said. "But, Kostur handled it well. You'll never see that kid come off the mat throwing stuff or a tantrum, he is as classy losing as he is winning."

Junior Brandon Duarte was the Bulldogs other championship round loss, when he fell to Roosevelt's Jason Sams in a 10-3 decision. Sams place third in state last season.

Gutierrez and many of his wrestlers said the Top of the Rockies Tournament came a the right time. With precious little high-caliber competition left on the Bulldogs schedule, the top-ranked teams at the tournament provided the late season strife they needed.

"A tournament like this does a lot for us this late in the season," Linsacum said. "We won't see this kind of competition again until state, so it keeps our mental toughness up and gives a lot of guys a boost in confidence."

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