Ferocity on Front Range: 4 placers for Moffat County wrestling at Berthoud
With some going all the way to the finals, others struggling in their early rounds and others finding themselves cut short by technicalities, Moffat County High School wrestlers met a variety of results amid a wide radius of competition Saturday.
MCHS placed eighth overall and sent four athletes to the podium during Berthoud’s Diny Pickert Invitational, otherwise known as the Spartan Classic, following a dual Thursday in Parachute against Grand Valley.
Ryan Duzik went to the championship round of the 120-pound weight class, pinning opponents from Weld Central and Holy Family in the opening bouts, earning a 4-2 decision over Cheyenne Mountain’s Chase Johnson in the semifinals.
Duzik fell in the second period to 11-4 Presely Madril of Broomfield in the fight for first place, giving the Bulldog a silver medal for the tournament.
At 106, Hunter Fredrickson was pinned in the semifinals by Weld Central’s Robert Estrada, though he bounced back in the consolations with a 9-4 win over Cheyenne Mountain’s Nicholas Grizales to set him up for the third-place match. A forfeit by Horizon’s Ricky Beall gave him the bronze.
In an especially lengthy stretch, Isiaih Herod (132) took the hard route to third place. After a loss by major decision, 18-9, to Broomfield’s John Beau Hostler in the first round, Herod picked up two falls and a 5-3 decision to get to the consolation semis, where Glenwood Springs’ Mathew Flores also was forced to forfeit.
Herod finished his 5-1 day with a 4-1 victory against Horizon’s Travis Guzman.
Forfeiture also had its drawbacks for the Bulldogs, as Daniel Caddy (138) was limited by match count at the conclusion of the tourney, ultimately taking fourth.
After a pin against Woodland Park’s Patrick Vitagliano, Caddy was defeated by a 9-7 sudden victory for Rick Stark of Cheyenne Mountain in the quarterfinals.
From there, he compiled two more pins and a 9-2 win on the back end of the bracket, only to be forced to cede third place to Woodland Park’s Brad Conlin to avoid going over his alotted matches for the season.
Blake Juergens (126) went 3-2 for the day, narrowly kept out of placement in a tournament that only recognized the top four. After a first round defeat, Juergens earned an 11-0 MD plus 3-1 and 11-4 wins before taking a 7-1 loss to Glenwood’s Erik Krauth in the consolation semifinals.
In a 2-2 run, Anthony Duran (113) made it to the championship semis with 8-4 and 3-2 decisions, avoiding a fall but losing in a 12-0 MD to Elizabeth’s 26-4 Kris Kramer, followed by a 5-3 sudden victory that went to Sterling’s Moises Rivas.
Thanks to multiple entries allowed at weights, Caden Call also went in for the Dogs at the 106, starting with a pin of Sterling’s Caestus Combs before losses by decision to Vista Peak and Fort Collins foes.
At 160, Daniel Cruz came back from an opening 7-1 loss to Loveland’s Marcelo Espinoza-Diaz to pin Berthoud’s Nick Campbell only to fall to Weld Central’s Levi Gerkin.
At 120, Colton Jones was beaten by 15-0 technical fall to Madril, the same opponent who would deny teammate Duzik the gold, later taking an 11-2 MD loss to Colin King of Salida.
At 145 and 152 respectively, Brock Hartung and Pepper Rhyne met with opening difficulties, pinned by Weld Central’s Tanner Baumgartner (22-6) and 16-4 Tristan Diamond of Salida (16-4). Both the Bulldogs faced similar problems with losses by fall to follow.
MCHS coach Dusty Vaughn noted that the Berthoud event was beneficial both due to seeing a bigger range of schools but also working in younger athletes against varsity-level grapplers, some of whom will no doubt be at the state tourney.
“Lots of good wrestling. Freshmen really stepped up,” he said.
In the week to come, MCHS was set to travel to Glenwood Jan. 31 for a dual match, which was later canceled.
Bulldogs will travel Feb. 2 to a dual tournament in Rawlins, Wyoming.