Bad Dog wrestlers take on Monster Match to leap into season |

Bad Dog wrestlers take on Monster Match to leap into season

Miki Klimper competes in the Monster Match Nationals in Denver. The large-scale wrestling event was attended by multiple Craig athletes through Bad Dogs Elite Wrestling.
MOCO Wrestling, Facebook/Courtesy Photo
Monster Match Nationals Age Group, Weight — Name, Record, Place Elementary Girls, 97 — Kennedy Kostur, 0-2 8U, 66 — Kaison Martinez, 1-3, 6th 8U, 87 — Orion Musser, 0-2, 3rd 10U, 85 — Kaeden Martinez, 2-2, 4th 12U, 82 — Eli Fredrickson, 1-2 12U, Heavyweight — Tanner Musser, 0-3, 4th 18U, 138 — Daniel Caddy, 2-2 18U, 182 — Miki Klimper, 6-1, 2nd

Just like the early bird gets the worm, so does the early wrestler gain the advantage over future opponents.

Bad Dogs Elite Wrestling wasted no time getting a jump on the season as Northwest Colorado athletes were in the mix of the Monster Match Nationals Nov. 4 at Denver’s National Western Events Complex.

Hosted by Rocky Mountain Nationals, the grappling gathering included hundreds of teams from 23 states, according to TrackWrestling.

Youth wrestlers from Craig got back onto the mat, many of whom were able to place, including third place for Orion Musser and Kaison Martinez sixth in the 8 and under brackets. In 10U, Kaeden Martinez was fourth, as was Tanner Musser in the 12U heavyweight class.

At the 82-pound class, Eli Fredrickson did not place amid a crowded lineup but went 1-2 including a win by fall.

In the elementary girls contest, Craig’s Kennedy Kostur went 0-2.

At the high school level, Moffat County High School wrestlers Daniel Caddy and Miki Klimper competed on behalf of Bad Dogs, each taking a handful of wins.

Caddy, who finished his freshman season at MCHS with a third-place regional finish and a spot at state, had a weekend record of 2-2.

His wins cames from a 6-0 decision and a dominating 15-0 technical fall to get into the quarterfinals of the championship round before taking a 5-2 loss to Jake Oltman of Nebraska’s MWC Wrestling Academy followed by a 4-0 defeat in the consolation bracket of the 18U 138 class.

At 182, Klimper started by pinning Fort Lupton’s Raymond Sandoval to move to the quarterfinals, then getting the tables turned on him by Brandyn Van Tassell of Champions Wrestling Club, who won by fall and eventually won the day in the weight class.

Van Tassell is also a reigning Utah state champion as part of the Maple Mountain team.

Klimper, who won a regional title and placed No. 2 at the state championships earlier this year, fought back hard from there to go 6-1 overall, ending with a 4-2 decision over Riverton’s Hayden Wempen to earn second place overall.

Wempen earned a 3A Wyoming state championship last winter, and he wasn’t the only state champ defeated by Klimper, who also won 7-2 against 2A Colorado champ Keegan Bean, of Lyons, as he tore through the consolation rounds.

Klimper noted that many of his opponents had a shorter, stocky build ideal for the sport, though his taller, lankier frame didn’t hurt.

“They were all strong, no doubt about that,” he said.

On the advice of trainers Marshall Kraker and Lindsey Short, Klimper sat out the final Moffat County football game to stay fresh for wrestling.

“They were really looking out for me, even though I was really living in the present and wanting to play,” he said.

Bulldog wrestling’s new head coach Dennis Fredrickson has offered optional practices throughout the fall for his athletes, though Klimper was preoccupied with football, still squeezing in a few sessions here and there.

Official practices for wrestling and other MCHS winter sports start this Friday, and Klimper and fellow grapplers are ready to go.

“I think we’ve just got to keep our heads because we’ve got a really good team this year, and I’m really excited to see what we’re gonna do,” he said. “If everybody sticks with it like they have been, we’ll do great things.”

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