After a strong Friday, Saturday didn’t go as well for Moffat County High School at the Region 1 wrestling meet.
Several Bulldogs had put themselves in good position after Friday’s preliminary rounds, but against the stiffer competition Saturday trying to place in the top four and advance to the state meet, many came up just short. Of the 11 wrestlers Moffat County sent to the regionals, Jesse Demoor, Brayden Peterson and Issic Herod were the three to qualify to wrestle another week.
The state tournament starts at the end of this week in Denver.
Demoor lost his semifinal match Saturday morning but won two straight matches after that, securing third place in the region at 182 pounds. Peterson and Herod each claimed fourth place after wins in the consolation bracket.
Coach Roman Gutierrez was pleased to see some of his wrestlers make a push through the bracket and advance.
“Brayden, he had a tough weight class,” Gutierrez said. “Those weights were tough at the end of the year. Jesse, he wrestled well. I’m real pleased with their accomplishment and hope they can wrestle well next week.”
It was a tough result for senior Garrett Stewart, Moffat County’s best wrestler by record during the regular season. In the highly competitive 145-pound class, Stewart went 2-3 on Friday and Saturday, losing his three matches by a combined four points.
In the tournament, the fifth-place wrestler can challenge the person in fourth if they had not wrestled each other earlier in the tournament. Stewart took that opportunity but lost 4-3 in the final seconds of that state-qualifying match to Troy Rose, of Olathe.
“Garrett lost his wrestle-back in the last seconds there and that kind of hurt,” Gutierrez said. “I’d like to really say thank you to Garrett and Jacob (Teeter) and for giving us great senior leadership all year long. I’m kind of disappointed that their dream of making the state meet just didn’t happen for them.”
Ashlee Griffiths took fifth place at 113 pounds but did not have an opportunity to challenge for fourth, having lost a 5-3 decision to Coal Ridge’s Lane Nelson (who took fourth) earlier in the bracket.
Herod continues to be an impressive story for the Bulldogs. The freshman took Griffiths’ place at 113 pounds while she was injured earlier in the season and did well for Moffat County. He moved up to 120 pounds for the regional tournament and earned the right to keep wrestling.
“He wrestled JV all year long and here at the end he asked if he could move up to see if he could get there (to state),” Gutierrez said. “I guess he had his mind set on something and he got it done. He was a pleasant surprise. He doesn’t quit, he just wrestles hard.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.