Top Dogs: Moffat County wrestler Miki Klimper finishes 2nd at state
- 106, Dagan White, 21-10 — 1-2
- 126, Isiaih Herod, 24-13 — 0-2
- 132, Chris Moschetti, 27-8 — 1-2
- 138, Daniel Caddy, 34-11 — 1-2
- 145, Ethan Powers, 18-12 — 0-2
- 152, Drake Zimmerman, 18-8 — 0-2
- 160, Greg Hixson, 11-16 — 0-2
- 170, Miki Klimper, 40-4 — 3-1, 2nd
- 182, Elias Peroulis, 39-7 — 3-2, 4th
- 195, Jefferson Piatt, 14-13 — 0-2
- 220, Toryn Hume, 25-12 — 1-2
DENVER — After 12 long months of biding his time, Moffat County High School wrestler Miki Klimper walked onto the floor of Denver’s Pepsi Center Saturday evening, ready to take one final victory of his senior year as a Bulldog at CHSAA State Championships.
Sadly, that wasn’t how the evening would end.
In his fourth year at state and second consecutive year in the finals, Klimper took the silver again with a 7-5 loss by decision to Weld Central’s Quentin Jiner.
Klimper was the No. 1 wrestler in his weight class and naturally came face to face with No. 2 Jiner who was also 3-0 after a successful semifinals.
The final round’s Parade of Champions kicked off the evening festivities as the top two competitors for each class and weight were introduced.
With each wrestler marching with a coach or other figure, Klimper selected MCHS assistant coach Mark Voloshin, who narrowly missed his shot at the state finals in 1985.
“It’s a great honor whenever you can be part of it,” Voloshin said.
Besides the pageantry of the ceremony, the two were adorned with their own individual flair that they had carried with them throughout the weekend — Klimper a pair of comic book art shoes and Jiner a headband of the Japanese rising sun he wore while off the mat.
Appropriately enough, MCHS head coach Dennis Fredrickson noted it was a matter of style — athletic style more than artistic — that played into the action.
Jiner got Klimper on the mat swiftly to earn a takedown and was on the verge of ending it in the first round before Klimper twisted his body enough to deny him the pin but not the near-pin points, ending the period behind 5-1.
Klimper’s biggest chance to take the victory came in the third with a reversal that stunned the Weld Central Rebel, and Jiner’s arched back was all that kept Klimper from earning a fall, also forcing the two of them out of bounds to slow any progress.
It all came down to the final two seconds, and Jiner knew all he needed to do was literally lay low — go flat and prevent the Bulldog from a takedown that could’ve forced overtime.
“That’s a smart kid, very athletic and just matched up very well,” Fredrickson said of Jiner. “Sometimes it just comes down to styles, and that’s why they wrestle the match. I think they could wrestle another hundred times and Miki would win all of them.”
Fredrickson said his last competitor standing at state deserved praise for the amount of work he’s put into the sport.
“He deserved to be a state champion, but you don’t always get what you want and you just have to accept it,” he said.
Klimper ended his senior season 40-4.
With 11 Moffat County athletes at the state level, the Dogs finished with 51 points, 10th among 43 3A schools represented at the final tourney.
The result is a strong one for the team, though Fredrickson said it’s one that could improve in the coming years and one he expects younger wrestlers want to continue to bolster.
“They set some pretty good goals for themselves and as a team this year,” he said. “We’ve still got a lot to work on as a team, and I know I’ve got a lot to work on as a coach.”
Craig Press will have more on state wrestling.