Fourth time’s the charm: Soroco wrestler Jace Logan seeking state gold
MONTROSE — All four years of high school wrestling, Soroco High School senior Jace Logan has qualified for the state championships.
For the past three, he’s gone to the final round, only to end in second place.
That changes this year.
Logan was the Rams’ top finisher during the 2A Region 1 Tournament Friday and Saturday, finishing a 3-0 run with a second period pin against Meeker’s Colby Clatterbaugh, his third fall of the weekend, good for his third consecutive regional title.
Jace faced the Cowboy competitor twice before in the season, winning both, so he wasn’t too intimidated in the finals after taking less than a minute each in his quarterfinal and semifinal matches, taking a fall after 19 seconds over Highland’s Isaac Segura and 29 seconds over Ignacio’s Clay Campbell.
“It was a good match,” Jace said. “I just wanted to get sharp on a few things before next week.”
Jace maintains a 37-1 record heading into state, and gaining a title is at the forefront of his mind, with odds strong that he’ll see last year’s foe Carlos Tarin, who handed him the final defeat.
Tarin emerged as the top 170 wrestler at the 2A Region 3 meet, his tally now 34-4.
“That’s my mission — rematch,” he said.
Soroco had two athletes in the finals Saturday, though Jesse Amrein had more trouble claiming the championship in the 195 weight. After pinning Rangely and Meeker foes, he found himself on his back courtesy of Paonia’s Anthony Felice.
Even so, Amrein was pleased with the overall outcome, gaining second place and moving to 20-7. A cut near his eye he sustained a week before opened up, though it was easy enough to endure given the other injuries he’s had.
“I hurt my shoulder at the beginning of the year and was out for three weeks. I was really out of shape, so we weren’t expecting much here, but I was giving my all since I’m a senior,” he said. “I had nothing to lose in that last match since I was already going to state.”
The Rams will take four athletes to state at Denver’s Pepsi Center Feb. 21 to 23, which was very nearly five.
In the 132 weight, Gene Bracegirdle had one of the last bouts of the tournament with a wrestle-back match for fourth place after a loss in the consolation finals to Hayden’s Wyatt Murphy.
Bracegirdle had a close, intense round against Norwood’s Gage Owen, one in which he nearly got pinned in the second round before edging out of bounds. It looked like the Ram would take the win with a late takedown, only for Owen to surprise him with a reversal that Bracegirdle countered with a literal last-second escape to tie it at 11.
Owen gained a takedown for the sudden victory in overtime at 13-11 as Bracegirdle placed fifth.
Tristan Singer also fell in the 220 consolation finals but was spared from a wrestle-back, guaranteed fourth thanks to an earlier win over Clayton Wood of Highland that gave him the state qualification by rule.
Kody Logan had one of the roughest roads to state in the 145 class, ultimately going 5-1 with no bye rounds. A loss in the quarterfinals sent him to the bracket’s back end early, amassing a 16-1 technical fall and two pins before the third-place match, where he gained a 9-0 major decision against JD Miller of Hotchkiss.
“I’ve never gotten to compete with my brother at the state level like this. He really stepped up this weekend, wrestled from the bottom up,” Jace said of his younger brother. “I’m really proud of him. He really found his fire.”
Forest Service investigates Independence Pass snowmobiling case after alleged culprit posted pictures on social media
The U.S. Forest Service opened an investigation Wednesday into a case of two men snowmobiling on snow-free terrain in designated wilderness on Independence Pass after receiving tips that one of the alleged culprits posted pictures of his illegal activity on social media.