Moffat County High School’s Charlie Griffiths celebrates after defeating Thompson Valley’s Kyle McNally at the state wrestling tournament in Denver. Griffiths, a junior, defeated McNally and finished the tournament in third place.

Photo by Ben Bulkeley

Moffat County High School’s Charlie Griffiths celebrates after defeating Thompson Valley’s Kyle McNally at the state wrestling tournament in Denver. Griffiths, a junior, defeated McNally and finished the tournament in third place.

Griffiths takes 3rd at state tournament

MCHS wrestler has highest finish for school at state tournament

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Moffat County High School’s Charlie Griffiths, top, grapples with Roosevelt’s Jeff Kielian in the consolation bracket semifinals at the state wrestling tournament in Denver. Griffiths defeated Kielian to advance to the consolation finals.

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Moffat County High School’s Charlie Griffiths, front, spends a second on his head during the state wrestling tournament. Griffiths, a junior, finished third in the 145-pound weight class, and said he was already planning for a championship run next season.

State wrestling individual champions

Name Weight School

Anthony Deleon 103 Fort Lupton

Darin Sisneros 112 Alamosa

Cortland Hacker 119 Broomfield

Joseph Martinez 125 Greeley West

Nick Swanson 130 Wheat Ridge

Casey Lynn 135 Montezuma-Cortez

Travis Himmelman 140 Conifer

Nathaniel Garcia 145 Windsor

Dan Barringer 152 Lewis-Palmer

Robert Pickrell 160 Northridge

Josh VanTine 171 Broomfield

Jordan Passehl 189 Montrose

Coltin Oster-Miller 215 Ridgeview Academy

Scotland Coyle 285 Longmont

Moments after winning his match against Thompson Valley’s Kyle McNally, Moffat County High School wrestler Charlie Griffiths had one thing on his mind.

“I need to start getting ready for next year,” he said. “I only have one more chance.”

Griffiths, a junior, wrestled his way to a third-place finish in the 145-pound class Saturday at the state wrestling tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver. It was the highest finish among the MCHS wrestlers who qualified for the tournament.

Griffiths said he already was focusing on finishing first at next year’s state tournament.

“It’s been my dream to finish first,” he said. “I’ll just have to work even harder this year.”

Griffiths was coached from the mat by Roman Gutierrez and Mark Voloshin — who, 25 years ago, also won a third-place medal in the 145-pound class for Moffat County at the state tournament — as he dispatched McNally.

“He tied me,” Voloshin said. “I’m glad to see him get it. I give him a lot of credit — he’s beat some really tough kids this year.”

Voloshin received a hug from Griffiths moments after the MCHS grappler was declared the winner.

During the match, Voloshin said he was pulling for his wrestler.

“I was wanting it,” Voloshin said. “I was hoping he wanted it as bad as me.”

Griffiths’ journey at state started with win against Canon City’s Clint Berry and Arvada’s Garet Krohn.

In the championship semifinals, he fell to Fort Morgan’s Brandon Hoffman to send the Moffat County grappler to the consolation bracket.

In his first consolation match, Griffiths had little trouble with Roosevelt’s Jeff Kielian, winning 7-1.

His opponent, McNally, a junior with a record of 23-10, had a long road in getting to the consolation finals.

McNally lost in the first round to Frederick’s Josh Martinez but climbed in the consolation bracket.

He defeated Pueblo West’s Marc Guerrero, Krohn, Pueblo South’s Brandon Lopez and defeated Martinez.

In the finals, Griffiths attacked early and often, and McNally was unable to counter.

Griffiths never trailed and never was in danger of being pinned.

MCHS brought four wrestlers to the Feb. 18 to 20 state tournament.

Juniors Cody Adams and Ben Winslow, two state newcomers, were eliminated in the first round of the consolation bracket.

Senior Nathan Tomlin won his first match, but lost his second match to Conifer’s Colby Kluesner.

Tomlin was injured in the match, and was unable to continue wrestling.

Although he was going for gold, Griffiths said he still was pleased with his victory.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “It’s beyond words.”

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