Bulldogs finish off three-peat at Warrior Classic
December 16, 2001
By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
In the world of Colorado high school wrestling, the victor of Grand Junction’s Warrior Classic could easily be the victor of the state wrestling tournament in February. And, by wrestling standards it’s clear the Bulldogs are on their way to state after their performance on Friday and Saturday night at the Warrior Classic.
The mass of Bulldog wins at the tournament spelled out a record breaking year. Moffat County won its third Warrior Classic in a row, and scored more points than any other team in the history of the tournament 246 to be exact.
The Classic has never had a team win three years in a row, and by so many points.
“We looked real good out on the mats this year,” coach Roman Gutierrez said. “In fact, there probably isn’t a team in Colorado that can hang with us, and we proved it at the Warrior Classic.”
The Bulldogs started their way to the record-breaking tournament by placing all but five wrestlers in final matches with six of them in the championship and three in the consolation brackets.
Senior Kyle Kostur knows about a quick match in the finals of the tournament it didn’t take any time for him to win.
That’s because to take his second title in a row at the annual tournament, all Kostur had to do was raise his arm. His opponent for the finals, Mathew Trujillo, received a concussion in the round before and had to forfeit the finals to Kostur.
“It feels pretty good to be a two-year champion, but it wasn’t really the way I wanted to win it,” Kostur said. “I was kind of looking forward to the final match.”
Kostur was the only Bulldog that met a forfeit when he reached the championship round. Nine other grapplers weren’t as lucky as Kostur, they had to battle for their top honors gutting it out in the final round in classic fashion. All but one of the Bulldogs won their matches.
The first match of the finals had junior Trevor Sloan wrestling Kyle Millet of West Jordan for fifth place. Through three periods of wrestling, Sloan led the match. Then with seven seconds left in the third, he pinned Millet for the win.
Senior Cody Fredrickson (15-2) took his first championship at the Warrior, gutting out three periods to win 7-4 against Nucla’s, Sabin Mock.
Seniors Ryan and Travis Linsacum are identical twins, but the duo didn’t mirror each other in the finals. While Ryan Linsacum battled, and won a 4-0 bout against Rio Rancho’s Eric Koragini, his brother Travis lost his match in a 3-2 decision again Shane Gylling of Alamosa.
Junior Ty Weber had the most intriguing finals match of the tournament when he faced off against Dusty Vaughn of Montrose the wrestler Weber took state from last year in Denver. Weber has met Vaughn six times in his high school career and has won twice. Weber took his third victory over Vaughn after the junior won in a 6-3 decision.
“I figured I’d see Vaughn in the finals,” Weber said. “We always end up facing each other.”
Senior Mark Hastings was the only other wrestler in the championship round, and with 44 seconds left in the third period, he pinned Jake Roble from Grandview High School.
Junior Ty Grandbouch and Derick Dill advanced to the finals, both fighting it out for fifth place. While Grandbouch waited out Jerod Lackey from Farmington for a pin in the last 49 seconds of the third round, Dill would be upset 8-6 in a overtime loss to Dustin Gallegos.
The only wrestlers not to make it were out of the tournament after the second round. Juniors Ryan and Bryan Hampton, and junior Jerod Coniff were the first three to fall, followed by juniors Brandon Duarte and Brent Mustgrave. All three were defeated by points.
“It’s been a great honor being able to be part of the team that won three Warrior Classics,” Fredrickson said. “We just have a great program, with a lot of guys looking to prove something.”