It’s got to be the shoes |

It’s got to be the shoes

Korey Kostur's kicks have lasted him four years, 142 wrestling matches

Korey Kostur has won 142 wrestling matches in his high school career. Before every match, he has tied on the same pair of shoes.

“I hope they’re good luck or something,” the Moffat County senior said Wednesday before leaving for his fourth state tournament in Denver. “My dad offered to buy me new shoes after every season, but I’ve kept these.”

Last year at the state meet, Kostur’s toes were poking out of both shoes.

“I took some dental floss and shoe glue during the offseason and put them back together, although I can’t fix the smell,” he said. “I’ve always liked these, so why go to something different?”

Kostur’s attitude toward his shoes is similar to the way he wrestles: Stick with what works.

Last year, he beat returning state champion Cory Swanson in the 140-pound championship match. This year, if he reaches the championship for the 145-pound weight class, chances are he’ll face another defending champion.

“Both years I’m going in the underdog,” he said. “I have to wrestle quick on my feet to win in this bracket.”

A state title in 2006 will be a tougher challenge for Kostur than last year for three reasons: He’s a returning champion, he’s facing a wrestler he’s never defeated, and three weeks ago, he missed a week because of the flu.

“Everybody’s out to get me so I have to be aggressive earlier,” he said. “I’m hurting a little bit at times because of the flu so I’m also not in as good of shape.”

Kostur’s only loss to a Colorado opponent this year was against Pueblo South’s Mark Beaudry. The two met at the first meet of the season, and Beaudry won, 11-9, in overtime.

Kostur has lost seven times in the past three years, and three of those losses are against Beaudry.

“Nobody expects me to beat him,” Kostur said. “We’ll see what happens if we both reach the finals.”

Kostur attributes most of his success to his older brothers, Kyle and Kurtis. The family has a wrestling room at home, and Korey learned the sport by taking lumps from his older brothers.

The crazy thing about wrestlers is that they appreciate those kind of things.

“My brothers taught me well,” he said. “I want to give back to them now.”

Korey said if he wins another state title, he would dedicate it to Kurtis (Kyle won a title his senior year).

“Kurtis did–n’t get a championship,” Kor–ey said. “If I can get a third one for the family, that means we have three, and we can all have one.”

His shoes will join the trophy stand at home.

“I’ll retire them up with my trophies,” he said. “I should probably get a new pair for college.”

Kostur, who is 38-2 this season, will start the tournament against Widefield’s Brandon Cordova, 24-12.

Wrestling notes

Brice Boling and Daniel Cram–blett have been here before. The two wrestlers qualified for state last year. Now the bright lights and big stage of state are items of the past.

“This year, I’m not going in awe,” Boling said. “I’m going to focus on the wrestling part of the tournament.”

Boling’s bracket was changed Wednesday after Conifer’s Nate Fisk had to withdraw from the tournament. That moved Boling into the second seed from the Region III tournament.

He now faces Eric Mortensen of Broomfield in the first round.

“I have a tough bracket, but I want to get into the medal round,” he said. “I have to wrestle more aggressively and not make the mistakes I did last year.”

Cramblett earned a tough draw in the first round with Alamosa’s top-ranked Cody Yohn, 36-3.

Another tough draw for the Bulldogs was sophomore Cory Vigil’s first-round opponent of Alamosa’s Jesse Meis, 32-7.

“Cory has a tough first-round match, but if he drops down into the consolation bracket, his path might be easier to the medals than some of his teammates’,” coach Rom–an Gutierrez said.

Juniors Jake Breslin and Nick Navratil are new to the state tournament.

“I’ve wrestled well in the big tournaments this year,” Breslin said. “I think if I do it again, I have a chance to medal.”

Tim Yount of On the Mat Rankings has Breslin and Navratil placing at the tournament.

“Cramblett put himself in a tough spot from the regional,” Gutierrez said. “But I think everybody has a chance to get into the medal round.”

The top six finishers are considered medal winners at the state tournament.

The first round starts at 7:15 p.m. today.

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