Area wrestlers finish early-season schedule at West Grand Invite
Steamboat Springs — Routt County high school wrestlers wrapped up their final meet before the holiday layover at the West Grand Invitational on Saturday with some solid team and individual results.
Hayden was third overall out of the 19 teams with 140 points, just behind 2013-14 powerhouses Norwood (152 points) and Meeker (205 points). Steamboat Springs came in fourth with 137 points, and Soroco improved from last week’s outing at its home tournament with a 10th-place finish (41 points).
“Norwood and Meeker are really solid teams this year,” Hayden coach Chad Jones said. “It just shows how solid our region will be. But as a team, I was proud of our effort.”
Tyler Hockaday grabbed second at 113 pounds, losing to Meeker’s Calvin Shepherd in the championship match. At 126 pounds, Tate Montieth was third and Garrett Camilletti grabbed bronze at 160 pounds.
Kent Miller and Journey Vreeman were both fourth at 145 pounds and 170 pounds, respectively. Both maxed out on matches so were unable to wrestle past fourth-place finishes, but Jones said Vreeman — who had four pins, the most for a Routt County wrestler Saturday — took on Meeker’s defending state champion at 170.
Steamboat was led by Cole Sittig’s heavy weight performance, scoring 26 team points with his first-place finish at 285 pounds, winning by fall over Saratoga’s Jacob Wells.
At 195 pounds, Sailors’ Brandon Yeager grabbed 20 points for his team advancing into the championship match before losing to Glenwood Springs’ Cristian Gonzalez. Connor O’Brien tacked on 18 more for Steamboat in his first-place decision against Meeker’s Cody Terrell.
“Cole and Connor wrestled really well, as did Brandon,” Sailors coach Shane Yeager said. “I had a couple of freshman that did really well, too.”
Freshmen Colton Pasternak (106 pounds) and Ethan Labriola (113 pounds) each took fourth in their classes. Pasternak had three pins Saturday.
At 132 pounds, Steamboat’s William Anderson scored 17 pounds with his fourth-place finish, losing to Saratoga’s Hunter Mason in the third-place match. Like Pasternak, Anderson had three pins.
Soroco’s Cody Constine scored 14 points with his third-place decision against Hayden’s Christian Carson, and Rams’ Nate Regan was fourth place at 220 pounds.
With the early-season invitationals now behind them, area wrestlers have a small break before heading into regional meets, where points matter even more and the most noise can be made.
“We wrapped up the preseason is what I like to say,” Yeager said. “It’s time to get down to business and start focusing on these really difficult meets we have after the break. Fun and games are over. It’s time to wrestle.”
Hayden’s next meet is at the MoCo Dual on Jan. 9. Steamboat’s next competition is in Vernal, Utah, on Jan. 10 and Soroco will be next on the mat Jan. 11 at Eagle Valley.
A learn-by-doing methodology was on display Friday at the Loudy-Simpson Park pond as Moffat County High School science students learned quickly whether or not they had a future in engineering.