Denver Moffat County junior Jesse DeMoor’s state tournament came to an end not with a whimper, but with gasps for breath and a pool of sweat.
He lost in the consolation quarterfinals of the 182-pound bracket at the state wrestling tournament in Denver, falling to Cody Garrett, of Middle Park, 7-3, in a grinding match that left both wrestlers panting.
“I came into the match knowing it wouldn’t be easy,” DeMoor said.
DeMoor tied the match early in the second period, 2-2, after his second escape, but Garrett logged another takedown, making the score 4-2, and DeMoor spent the remainder of the match trying desperately to catch up.
The wrestlers, tiring quickly, spent most of the third period pushing each other around the mat. DeMoor threw Garrett to the ground once, but it was ruled out of bounds.
“He was definitely tough. I think he was stalling,” DeMoor said. “It happens. I gave it my best, and that’s what matters, I guess.”
DeMoor ended his season 37-16. Moffat County’s two other state-qualified wrestlers fell from the competition Friday.
“I leave that match upset because a lot of stalling was going on there. There are definitely things I can improve on, things I should have done better in that last match,” he said. “I should have won that, but I didn’t.”