Korey Kostur defeats nemesis, 5-4, for second state title
Denver — Korey Kostur couldn’t feel his arms or his legs, but that wasn’t going to stop him. Not after the Moffat County senior had put so much into this moment.
“I worked for this match all year long,” Kostur said about his 145-pound championship showdown against Pueblo South’s Mark Beaudry. “When it came down to it, I wanted it more.”
Kostur was down 4-2 with less than 30 seconds remaining. He earned an escape at 29 seconds left, and with 10 seconds left, he broke Beaudry down for two points and a 5-4 state-championship win.
“That move in the last seconds was made possible by the hard work my brothers put in with me,” the youngest of three brothers said. “I wanted to dedicate this to Kurtis and I only wanted to dedicate a championship.”
Korey’s older brother, Kurtis, was a 2000 graduate of Moffat County. Kurtis had a state title elude him during his four years as a Bulldog.
Korey could have made his quest for a state title easier. After losing, 11-9, in overtime to Beaudry in December, Kostur was 0-3 against Beaudry, who won a state title at 140 pounds last year. Kostur only lost four other times in the past three years.
He could have moved up or down a weight class to stay away from his nemesis.
That wouldn’t be the case.
“I wanted to make this the hardest-earned title I could,” Kostur said. “I had never beat Beaudry, and that’s how I wanted to go out.”
The previous matches were high-scoring affairs. This time, Kostur kept it low, scoring by keeping Beaudry on the defensive.
“I didn’t want to give him a chance to control,” he said. “I had to be more aggressive.”
Kostur’s aggressiveness had Beaudry on his heels, and the Pueblo South wrestler was called for stalling twice. The second time gave Kostur a point in the second period.
“Korey wrestled to win,” Moffat County coach Roman Gutierrez said. “It was an outstanding match, and it took a lot of guts for Korey to decide he was going to go after Beaudry for a fourth time.”
The two likely would have met in the championship of the Warrior Classic but Beaudry fell on some ice and suffered a concussion before the tournament.
“I was determined to get revenge,” Kostur said. “If it wasn’t going to be at the Warrior, it had to be at state.”
For the second straight year Kostur beat a defending state champion in the championship match. His junior year Kostur beat returning state champion Cory Swanson of Fort Lupton.
Both times Kostur won his celebration was cut short because of a bloody nose.
“I think Korey may have broken his nose (Friday) night,” Gutierrez said. “It looked pretty bad today and it was bleeding all over after the match.”
Kostur became Gutierrez’s third two-time champion and Moffat County’s fourth double-title holder.
“The way I won it is what I’m proud of,” he said. “I didn’t back down from the best opponent I knew and I did it for my brother. It was probably the toughest match of my career.”
Kostur is undecided about where he’ll attend college, but Beaudry has signed with the University of Michigan.
“I hope we meet again,” he said. “We’re both awesome scramblers and I bet somehow we’ll meet up again.”
Until the Kostur boys have children of their own, there won’t be another Kostur on the mat for the Bulldogs. Korey’s win ended a 10-year reign with Kurtis, Kyle or Korey in a blue singlet.
“There aren’t any more Kosturs to look forward to,” Gutierrez said. “They had a great run, that’s for sure.”
Korey finished the season 42-2. He finished his career with 146 wins.
“It’s been a blast,” he said. “I’m pumped the way it ended.”
Beaudry scored first with a takedown with 12 seconds left in the second period. During the period he was called for his first stalling by sprawling away from Kostur’s takedown attempts.
The Pueblo South wrestler started the second period on the bottom of referee’s position. Kostur put Beaudry on his back briefly with a tilt, but it wasn’t long enough for near-fall points. Kostur’s aggressiveness caused Beaudry to stop trying to escape. He was called for another stalling with 35 seconds left in the period.
Kostur trailed 2-1 going into the third period. He earned an escape to even up the match, 2-2, with 1 minute, 38 seconds remaining. Beaudry took him down 20 seconds later to go up 4-2. With 29 seconds left Kostur escaped and squared up trailing by one, 4-3.
With 15 seconds left in the match Kostur went in for the takedown.
“He’d been knocking me off-balance with his hips all night,” Kostur said. “I was ready for that, and when he shifted, I went between his legs and sucked him tight.”
Kostur came on out on top for two points and a 5-4 lead with 10 seconds left.
“I was afraid I’d slip off or something,” he said. “But (Beaudry) went limp.”
After the win, Kostur’s celebration was cut short by a bloody nose — exactly what happened to him last year.
“I guess I have to have a bloody nose to win a championship,” he said. “Since I was bleeding, all the blood was going to my head, and I think that’s why I couldn’t feel anything in my arms and legs.”
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Continuing its push to expand the state’s rural regional busing network, the Colorado Department of Transportation added a new route at the beginning of the year between Craig and Denver, operating each way daily.