Owen Nichols, a Moffat County High school freshman, takes his opponent down Thursday in the MCHS varsity wrestling team’s dual meet against Meeker. Nichols helped spark the Bulldogs to a 54-27 victory with a first period pin.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Owen Nichols, a Moffat County High school freshman, takes his opponent down Thursday in the MCHS varsity wrestling team’s dual meet against Meeker. Nichols helped spark the Bulldogs to a 54-27 victory with a first period pin.

Early pins lead MCHS to victory

Results

Individual results from Moffat County High School varsity wrestling team’s Thursday’s dual meet against Meeker:

(Name — weight — result)

Owen Nichols — 103 — W pin 1:24

Casey Barnes — 119 — L pin 3:19

Cody Nelson — 125 — void

Brayden Peterson — 130 — void

Garrett Stewart — 135 — L 11-6 decision

Kye Adams — 140 — void

Jake Blevins — 145 — void

Charlie Griffiths — 152 — W pin 42 seconds

Dru Nielson — 160 — W pin 3:21

Kolten Wickham — 171 — L pin 1:39

Cody Adams — 189 — W pin 1:22

Ben Winslow — 215 — void

Bob Myers — 285 — L pin 1:41

Moffat County High School junior wrestler Dru Nielson knew heading into regionals next week he would have to get better working from his feet.

Thursday night proved to be a step in the right direction, as Nielson’s footwork lead him and his team to a victory over Meeker, 54-27.

“I think I did way better on my feet tonight,” he said. “I am usually pretty passive, but tonight was good.”

Over a minute of feelings out his opponent in his 160-pound match, Neilson was able to get a takedown and near fall before the first period ended to jump out to a 5-0 lead.

Starting on top in the second, Nielson rolled his opponent up and scored a pin 1:21 into the period.

“My opponent was a tough kid, so I had to take what I could get,” Nielson said. “I didn’t wrestle the best from the top, but I was able to score a pin, so that was a plus.”

Still, Nielson wants to keep improving as the season comes to a close.

“I definitely want to keep working on my feet,” he said. “I want to keep getting stronger as well, because it will help me at regionals.”

Meeker wasn’t able to fill four weight classes, one of which was at 130 pounds, freshman Brayden Peterson’s weight class.

With just over a week before the regional tournament on Feb. 11 and 12, Peterson said the lack of a match wasn’t too concerning.

“I don’t really think it affected me too much because at this point, it is more of a mental game for me,” Peterson said. “Sometimes I get nervous and it gets to me, so that is what I am focusing on now.”

Seniors Charlie Griffiths (152 pounds) and Cody Adams (189 pounds) and freshman Owen Nichols (103 pounds) each scored first round pins for the Bulldogs.

MCHS walked away the victors, but head coach Roman Gutierrez said his team came out flat while going 4-4 in head-to-head matches.

“We won, but we came out sluggish and couldn’t get started,” he said. “Guys like (Garrett) Stewart didn’t do very well tonight.”

Stewart, a MCHS sophomore, was tied heading into the third period, but was caught with a reversal and near fall to end the match in an 11-6 defeat.

“I think Garrett got caught and choked early, which probably affected him down the stretch,” Gutierrez said. “I think we just need to stop taking kids lightly.”

Peterson wasn’t impressed with his team’s overall effort.

“Everyone looked pretty good, but they started slow,” he said. “The lower matches probably could have went either way, but Meeker won them.”

The Bulldogs will wrestle at Eagle Valley tonight, their last match-up before the regional tournament.

Gutierrez said the team’s practices have been shorter, but his wrestlers still have some improving to do.

“We have cut practice short so the guys could get their legs under them,” he said. “We will have to pick it up at Eagle Valley and then just keep working on top and bottom before regionals.”

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