Individual winners from the regional wrestling tournament:
Name School Weight
Jace Lopez Roosevelt 103
Justin Ray Palisade 112
Daniel Salazar Palisade 119
C.J. York Roosevelt 125
Presley Papachek Roosevelt 130
Casey Lynn Montezuma-Cortez 135
James Martinez Rifle 140
Charlie Griffiths Moffat County 145
Nathan Tomlin Moffat County 152
Blake Nygen Roosevelt 160
Bryce Gaber Montrose 171
Jordan Passehl Montrose 189
Braxten Franz Montrose 215
Caleb Ayers Montezuma-Cortez 285
If Charlie Griffiths didn’t know about sacrifice, he learned Saturday night at the regional wrestling tournament in Denver.
Moffat County High School’s 145-pound entrant had to hurt himself to help his chances of winning his weight class.
In the end, the price of pain was worth the reward, Griffiths said.
“In the third period I chose down, and (Palisade’s Wesley Shingleton) caught me,” he said. “I reversed really hard, but I was stuck on my back, and I was really close to being pinned. I had one arm out, and I kind of dislocated my shoulder and snuck through the other arm. I’ll probably be hurting a little bit (Sunday) morning.”
Griffiths was able to hold on and win, 12-6, to give the MCHS junior his first regional victory.
More importantly, Griffiths, along with 152-pound champion Nathan Tomlin, Cody Adams (who finished second) and Ben Winslow (fourth) get to continue their season at the Thursday to Saturday state meet at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Scott Mann and Cody Nelson just missed giving Moffat County six state-bound competitors, as both wrestlers finished fifth.
Moffat County brought 11 wrestlers to Mullen High School for regionals.
The Bulldogs finished fourth overall, and Roosevelt High School claimed the regional crown.
Wrestling against No. 1 seed Shingleton for the second time in a week, Griffiths said he made the right adjustments.
“It was close,” he said. “He beat me the first time I wrestled him last weekend, 10-5. I knew I had to do something this weekend, so I worked hard on my cardio and attacked him.”
The 12-6 win was Griffiths’ first regional title.
“My best (finish) was third,” he said. “So, this is a big step up for me. I feel really good right now.”
Griffiths said he will continue to build up endurance as he prepares for the state meet.
“If I keep pushing the pace with everyone, I should be a state champ,” he said.
For the second straight year, Moffat County will send four wrestlers to the state tournament.
Griffiths and Tomlin return, and Adams and Winslow are two new faces.
Last year, Jesse Breslin and Cody Nelson joined Griffiths and Tomlin at the state tournament.
Wrestling on Saturday as the No. 1 seed, Tomlin breezed into the finals.
The first round saw the MCHS senior boss around Roosevelt’s Raul Maldonado in the first round of the championship round.
But Maldonado refused to be pinned.
“At the beginning of the match I felt really good,” Tomlin said. “I felt like I was going to dominate like I always do. We got into the later periods, and I started gassing really fast. I just had to hang in there.”
Having missed time with injuries and coming off a cold, Tomlin said his endurance hasn’t returned in full.
But luck struck for Tomlin in the form of a bloody nose.
Late in the third round, with the score 4-3, Tomlin had a short timeout to patch up a bloody nose, which gave the senior time to rest.
“I had a little time to rest,” he said. “I guess I was just mustering up the energy to win the match.
“I was just keeping myself in it to win it, and I just needed a little energy to win the match.”