Consolation placers lead team to sixth

— There are many storied performances from Moffat County wrestlers at the state wrestling championships.

Senior Daniel Cramblett and junior Brice Boling's last two days of the 2006 wrestling season add two more stories the Bulldog legend.

The two finished fourth, and junior Nick Navratil finished fifth to help the Bulldogs to a sixth-place team finish.

"I was proud of the way all six of our guys wrestled," coach Roman Gutierrez said. "We were picked to finish 12th, and they battled all weekend to do much better than that."

Cramblett, who weighed right at 152 pounds all season was so sick during the weekend that when he weighed in Saturday morning he weighed 146 pounds. "I've been throwing up all weekend," he said. "I try to drink water and then after a match I just throw up."

After a first-round loss to eventual champion Cody Yohn, Cramblett won four consecutive matches to make the match for third and fourth.

By then, he was exhausted, and Timmy Long, who Cramblett was 2-1 against this season, had little trouble beating him, 5-2.

"I've been sleeping after every match to try to get energy," he said. "I didn't have anything left.This is probably the sickest I've ever been."

Not a bad effort considering Cramblett finished fourth at the regional and had to win a wrestle back just to get to state.

Boling owes the wrestler that invented the tilt a thank-you note. The junior looked like a different wrestler than the one that lost 11 matches during the regular season.

He used the tilt to move through four wins in the consolation bracket. "(The tilt) made me more aggressive," he said. "I really struggled at times this year but I'm proud of the way I came back this year."

Boling's biggest win was in the consolation semifinal match against last year's runner-up Victor Sanchez of Pueblo South. He used the tilt three times to put up 12 points against the 32-7 wrestler. Boling won the match 12-8.

"To beat a state runner-up like that was impressive," Gutierrez said. "You have to give Brice credit for that."

The tilt can be dangerous because it puts the wrestler using the move on his back. That cost Boling in the third- and fourth-place match. He went for the move in the third period against Rifle's James Conrardy but he slipped out of it and was pinned with 10 seconds left.

"I'm happy with what I did," Boling said. "It gives me confidence for next year."

Boling and Navratil, both juniors, will be the team's top-two returnees for next year's team.

Navratil opened up a 2-1 match against Pine Creek's Brendon Ross into a 7-2 win in the third period for fifth place. Navratil's two losses came against bigger, stronger wrestlers. "They both used their strength to stall," he said. "It makes me want to get stronger and better for next year."

Navratil has more reason to return to state next year just so his name will finally be announced correctly at the state tournament. Despite getting corrected twice, the state announcer referred to him as "Navrati" the entire weekend.

Jake Breslin was two points from a win in both of his losses at the state tournament. In his 6-4 loss against Montezuma-Cortez's Andrew Wright Breslin couldn't find any offense against the shorter wrestler.

"Jake's mindset was to try to catch guys in big moves," assistant coach Ron Linsacum said. "At the state meet, that won't always work."

Next year's team race is going to be a tight one at the state tournament. The top six teams all return four or five state qualifiers. Tim Yount, who does all of the state rankings for On the Mat Rankings, foresees an exciting finish in Class 4A in 2007.

"It's going to be crazy next year in 4A," he said. "I have no idea what will happen."

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