Craig MCHS wrestling coach Roman Gutierrez went into the two-day Las Vegas Invitational wrestling tournament seeking a top-five finish for his Moffat County High School team.
The Bulldog grapplers did one better, taking fourth at the 12-team tournament Friday and Saturday.
"The teams that were ahead of us I think had really solid performers," the coach said, "so finishing fourth out of the 12 teams is about where I felt we fit in. : Like I said, we were looking to place in the top five, and we did accomplish that."
Nathan Tomlin netted the highest individual placement for the Bulldogs, taking second in the 135-pound weight class.
Matt Kincheloe placed third at 140 pounds.
Several Bulldog wrestlers earned fourth-place finishes, including Cody Nelson at 103 pounds; Cory Vigil at 119 pounds; Charlie Griffiths at 125 pounds; and Jesse Breslin at 145 pounds.
With about a month before the state tournament, Gutierrez said the Bulldog wresters are making positive strides but that more improvement is needed.
"We still have a lot of improving to do off the bottom and just not backing off when we're on our feet," he said. "We just have to be a little bit more aggressive and get some of these kids to place a little bit higher in some of these tournaments we're running into.
"I just feel that we're improving. It's just a slow improvement right now, and we just have to keep stepping it up, and hopefully, things will keep getting better."
Up next, the Bulldogs are scheduled to wrestle four teams at Rifle's dual tournament Saturday. Times are to be announced.
"We'll wrestle all the eastern slope schools that come over," Gutierrez said. "It's like the West versus the East, so it will be good. We'll be able to see some kids : in our division as far as the state tournament is concerned."