Grand Junction It didn’t take Braeden Peterson to find a way to get his first win at the prestigious Warrior Classic here on Friday.
Peterson, a Moffat County High School freshman, opened up his Warrior career against the top seed in his weight class. He was pinned in the first period in the match but he was able to bounce back. Peterson pinned his next two opponents to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament.
“Coming into today my goal was to make it to the second day,” he said. “By getting that first win it was a relief. That meant I was one step closer to getting to Saturday.”
Seniors Cody Nelson and Charlie Griffiths had little trouble advancing to the third round of the championship bracket.
Both controlled their matches in the second round with 8-4 and 9-5 wins.
“Charlie didn’t wrestle real well and he said he was a little light headed,” coach Roman Gutierrez said. “Hopefully, he feels better (today) because he’ll have some tough ones.”
Gutierrez brought six wrestlers to the Warrior and sent the rest of his team to a tournament in Kremmling. The plan was for seven to come, but senior Cody Adams missed the trip due to illness. Two wrestlers, sophomores Garrett Stewart and Dru Nielson, lost two matches on Friday and will watch in street clothes on Saturday.
Starting at 9 a.m., senior Ben Winslow will join Peterson, Nelson and Griffiths in an attempt to get a medal.
The Warrior is considered one of the toughest tournaments all season with teams from five states and multiple state champions in each bracket.
“Everybody has a tough road ahead,” Gutierrez said. “It will be interesting to see how we come back and wrestle (today).”