Breslin picks Mesa State

State wrestling champ uses late friend as motivation

Not many people notice Jake Breslin's short kiss on a sweaty green and white wristband before each wrestling match.

"You have to kiss it on each side, and the alternating green and white patterns have to line up exactly," Breslin said of his pre-match routine. "Just before I take the mat, I tuck it into my shoe, but if I shove it in wrong I have to change it."

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A Moffat County High School senior, Breslin recently signed a letter of intent to wrestle at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

A three-year MCHS varsity wrestler, Breslin's biggest source of motivation comes from the late Kortney Lake, a 1999 MCHS graduate.

Lake went on to collegiate success at Adams State College in Alamosa, and was voted into the Grizzly wrestling Hall of Fame after losing a battle with cancer in June of 2006.

"He was my motivation," Breslin said.

In honor of Lake -- and to reflect the green and white of Adams State -- Breslin carries a wristband in memory of his friend.

Breslin saw his determination and early morning workouts pay off with a 4A 125-pound state championship in February.

The soft-spoken teen pinned Jordan Garcia of Pueblo West to cap off a 4-0 record at state and finish his final Bulldog season 38-5 overall.

Breslin also was honored as the most valuable member of the team.

"I think he made a big impact winning a state title," MCHS coach Roman Gutierrez said. "He is a good, natural leader that is always focused. I am pleased that he wants to further his wrestling career at the college level."

Because Mesa State is a NCAA Division II college, they cannot offer a full-ride scholarship, but Breslin said the Mavericks will assist with tuition costs.

"I want to major in kinesiology and be in the sports medicine field," Breslin said. "I would love to be a physical education teacher."

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