Hayden’s Lewis guts out 182-pound victory, stays alive for state wrestling medal | CraigDailyPress.com

Hayden’s Lewis guts out 182-pound victory, stays alive for state wrestling medal

Steamboat Sailors, Moffat Bulldogs exit competition

Ben Ingersoll

Hayden sophomore Christian Carson is moving on in the Class 2A 195-pound bracket at the state wrestling championships. Carson knocked off Cedaredge's Tre' LaBossiere to stay alive for a medal when the championships wrap up on Saturday.

— He may have to use crutches to get out of Denver’s Pepsi Center tomorrow, but for the second straight year, Hayden High School senior wrestler Taylor Lewis has set himself up for a medal.

And what a set up it was by Lewis on Friday night in Day 2 of the 2A state wrestling championships.

Leading by just one point heading into the final period against Ignacio’s Blaine Mickey, Lewis re-injured an already sensitive ankle, and Mickey knew it. After being attended to by trainers, Mickey attacked Lewis and went up by a point as time ticked inside of a minute.

Lewis didn’t quit. The senior, and fourth-place medalist last year, scored an escape point, forced overtime and used a reversal to stun Mickey in the sudden victory. Lewis is now a win away from competing for a bronze medal.

And on an otherwise rough day for Routt County wrestlers, Lewis won’t be competing Saturday by himself. Hayden Sophomore Christian Carson rebounded from a quarterfinals loss to undefeated senior Jareb Aziz to stay alive after a dominant victory over Cedaredge’s Tre’ LaBossiere, 6-1. Like Lewis, he is a win from staring down a bronze-medal match.

"I thought, ‘I have to win this. I have to place,’" Carson said about his match with LaBossiere. "I saw him at middle school state, so it was kind of a grudge match. He beat me, but it felt good to win and go into tomorrow."

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Lewis, who left on crutches Friday night, is set to take on Meeker’s Devone Pontine, a same-region foe. Carson will face Yuma’s Kaler Ybarra, a 25-16 senior.

"I have to keep pushing and work my opponent until he gets tired," Carson said. "Cardio is key. In Hayden, we just push and push cardio as hard as we can."

The Tigers’ other three wrestlers in contention Friday — Devlyn Mossman (120 pounds), Tate Montieth (132 pounds) and Kent Miller (152) pounds — were bounced in the consolation second round.

Mossman and Montieth stayed alive in Friday’s opening round but suffered decision losses to end their state runs. Miller competed in the championship quarterfinal but lost to top seed Reagan Lane, of Eads. He won his consolation match before being eliminated by Center’s Salomon Chavez.

Sailors wrestlers leave state championships with lessons learned

The Class 3A state wrestling championship didn’t go according to plan for the Steamboat Springs trio of Colton Pasternak, Dakota Thvedt and Matthew Hansen, but as a group of underclassmen, it was hard to ignore the experience they gained in the Pepsi Center on Friday and Saturday.

Thvedt and Hansen wrestled back into medal contention Saturday morning after both losing in Friday’s preliminary round, but their runs were halted by talented upperclassmen.

After three periods of back-and-forth wrestling, Thvedt was able to score a pin on Fort Lupton’s Jaylen Williams. Thvedt was then dropped by The Classical Academy’s Ryan Francis in a narrow 2-0 decision in the consolation second round.

Hansen handled Mullen freshman Dimitris Flores with a quick pin to stay in the consolation bracket. He was then beat, 16-0, and eliminated by Platte Valley’s 38-8 senior Tanner Fetzer, denying Hansen’s advancement in the 145-pound bracket.

Pasternak, not one to be satisfied by simply being at state, went 0-2 at 106 pounds, but was gracious in defeat. He was taken out of the bracket by Lamar’s Justin Batterton in a last-minute pin on the consolation side.

"It’s an awesome experience to go down there and be one of the select few people who get to wrestle in the Pepsi Center," Pasternak said afterward. "I think it gets you hungry for next year. This year, my goal was to make it to state. Next year, it will be to hopefully win a couple matches."

Bulldogs exit 3A state, ready to return in 2016

Moffat County High School freshman wrestler Mikinzie Klimper has a load of preps wrestling matches ahead in his Bulldogs career — that much he knew before even stepping onto the mat for the 3A state championships.

But it’s the valuable lessons Klimper quickly learned when competition ramped up that he thinks will keep getting him a ticket to the big dance for years to come.

Klimper suffered two defeats in his only two matches at state in the 3A 160-pound bracket, both against high-school proven seniors.

The takeaway? His strategy is on point, and his strength will come in time.

"After coming from middle school state last year, it’s completely different," Klimper said. "The competition and the overall venue. There are more people, and the kids are just tougher. Strength, man, that’s all I need. I have the technique down, now I just have to build the muscle up."

After being pinned by 38-7 senior Clark Jett, of Platte Valley, in the preliminary round, Klimper squared off with Alamosa’s Nate Henry. Klimper battled tough through all three periods and was just about any strong move away from winning it, but ultimately fell in an 8-6 decision.

"This was a great experience," Klimper said after grappling with Henry. "This is awesome, being under the lights at the Pepsi Center. There’s no better feeling."

After advancing into the championship side of the bracket with wins in the prelims, Bulldogs juniors Issik Herod (126 pounds) and Stelios Peroulis (170 pounds) were the victims of decision losses in the quarterfinals against top-tier Class 3A talent.

That pushed the duo into the consolation side, where they both went down in close decision losses. Herod was outlasted by Bayfield’s Ryan Nava, 4-1, and Peroulis couldn’t score the late victory over Dolores Huerta’s Julian Gallegos, a No. 3 seed who was upset in the prelims.

The losses leave the Bulldogs without a competitor in Saturday’s state championships finale, but with a trio of top-three regional finishers — including Herod’s regional gold medal — there’s plenty to look forward to in Moffat County wrestling.

"I went out there and gave it my all," Herod said. "I’m just going to train hard this summer and get ready for next year."

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

2A State Wrestling Championship Saturday schedule

■ 182 pounds: Taylor Lewis (35-6, Hayden) vs. Devone Pontine (19-4, Meeker) in 2A third-round consolation

■ 195 pounds: Christian Carson (26-12, Hayden) vs. Kaler Ybarra (25-16, Yuma) in 2A third-round consolation

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