Soroco senior Jace Logan wins first state title, Hayden junior falls in double overtime
DENVER — It’s about time.
In 2016, Soroco High School freshman Jace Logan, 145, fell in the state championship final to Paonia senior Bo Pipher by fall at 3 minutes and 21 seconds.
In 2017, Soroco sophomore Logan, 152, lost by a 4-3 decision to Norwood senior Hayden Harris at the state championship final.
In 2018, Soroco junior Logan, 170, was pinned by Wray junior Carlos Tarin in 5:28 at the state championship final.
On Saturday, Logan stood face-to-face on the mat once again with Tarin.
Logan was first to score, taking Tarin down to the mat in the first period, 2-0. In the second, Logan started in the bottom position, rolling over for an escape to take a 3-0 lead, but Tarin responded, taking him down for a few seconds to put himself within one point, 3-2.
There was one time Tarin had both of Logan’s shoulder blades headed towards the mat, and the crowd above held its breath, but Logan flipped quickly to his stomach. The crowd let out a sigh of relief.
Logan rolled Tarin to his side, pushing one shoulder to the mat for three back points. Tarin took Logan down one more time, then escaped from his grasp in the final seconds, running away, launching himself at Logan.
But Logan held steady, and the clock ran out. Logan had won by a 6-5 score.
Logan flexed to the crowd, then ran to his head coach Jay Whaley and tackled him to the ground with a smile. The official handed him the green and red coin used to decide positions between periods, to keep.
He walked out and sat against the wall to catch his breath enough for words.
“Those final seconds, I just thought, ‘Stay in it,’” Logan said. “I wasn’t nervous this time. I’ve been here enough. I just need to believe in myself. That’s what I said all day. I said, ‘I can do it. I’m a champion.’”
Hayden High School junior Hunter Planansky made it to last year’s state quarterfinal, then won one match in consolation before elimination in the 170-pound weight class.
Planansky, stitched up from a gash received the night before, had his forehead wrapped in white tape Saturday.
He led through almost three periods by a 1-0 score, but fell in double overtime, 3-1, to a familiar foe, Nucla’s Will Gabriel, who he held a 2-1 record against.
Planansky emerged from the match in tears, carrying with him a framed photo of Chad Jones, former head wrestling coach. The photo had followed him throughout the season, so he could feel like Jones was watching.
He hugged his mom at the bottom of the stairs, then his dad, now head coach Nick Planansky, in the hallway away from the crowd.
His teammate, Hunter Hatcher, coach Matt Linsacum and Nick unraveled the bloody forehead tape from his forehead and tight curls.
Beating Gabriel at the tournament of champions earlier this season was a sign he could make it this far, but he couldn’t fathom it before today.
And yet, he felt like it wasn’t good enough for him or for Jones to take second.
“I’m sorry,” Hunter said, wiping away a tear.
“You don’t have to be sorry,” Nick said.