Bulldogs finish second in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- Daniel Cramblett and Levi Weber were joking, but when they pointed out that every time they win, Korey Kostur loses, they summed up the Moffat County wrestling team's successes and struggles this year.

Cramblett, a 152-pound senior, and Weber, a 130-pound junior, were the Bulldogs' two individual champions at the Centennial Bulldog Grappler Tournament on Saturday. The Bulldogs finished second to Mojave Valley, Nev. In his last match in Las Vegas, Kostur lost a tight 3-2 match for his first loss in four years here.

Kostur suffered his first loss of the season at the Middle Park tournament in December. Cramblett and Weber were the only two tournament champions for the Bulldogs there.

"That's kind of the way it has worked for us this year," Cramblett said. "We haven't had everybody on at the same time."

Moffat County finished the tournament with 10 top-four placers and 186 points. Mojave Valey, ranked No. 2 in the largest class of Nevada wrestling, had 13 placers and 239 points. The Bulldogs had six wrestlers in the championship final but finished 2-4 in the finals.

"(Nick) Navratil and Kostur had a couple of good, close matches," coach Roman Gut--ierrez said. "They were one move away from a championship."

Kostur lost to Aaron Barrett of Palo Verde, Nev., 3-2. Kostur led throughout the match, but he couldn't turn Barrett in the second or third period. In the third period, Barrett escaped and earned a controversial take down with 10 seconds remaining in the match. The Moffat coaches argued Barrett was out of bounds before he had control for the takedown, but it was to no avail.

"Korey's opponent kept it close till the end, and that's what you have to do in a tough match," Gutierrez said.

Kostur defeated Barrett, 7-3, on Friday.

Navratil couldn't outmuscle Mojave's Reggie Powers in his 3-2 loss in the finals.

Weber pinned five of his six opponents for the weekend. In his only match decided by points, he was ahead 14-0 before getting caught in a headlock and was nearly pinned.

"Twice this year, an opponent has caught my head," he said. "I need to improve in that area."

Weber pinned all five opponents using a move called the Sanders.

"It's harder in Colorado to use that move because kids look for it," he said. "This weekend, kids didn't know the move, so we could catch them in it."

Cramblett earned a pin in his championship match against Mojave's Bill Stutzman.

"I felt good about my championship match because I wore him down by being aggressive," Cramblett said. "I need to continue to be that aggressive."

Sophomore Cory Vigil and junior Jake Breslin were victims of Mojave wrestlers in the championship match. Breslin finished second in the 125-pound bracket with a 15-4 loss in the finals. Vigil was pinned to finish the weekend, 6-1.

Moffat wrestlers to win their third-place matches were junior Brice Boling (112), freshman Trent Vernon (119) and junior Chris McAlexander (135). Fresh--man Clancy Garoutte (171) finished fourth.

"To place 10 guys shows we're making progress," Gutierrez said. "Even for some of the guys who didn't place, we had some growth."

Moffat County finished the weekend, 73-30.

"We're wrestling better," Cramblett said. "We still need to work on the mental part a little better."

Gutierrez said there have been some slips along the way, but the progress has been there.

"They're working toward wrestling their best at the end of the year," he said. "Some of the underclassmen will surprise some people at the region."

The Bulldogs will resume wrestling Thursday with a dual at Delta.

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