Top Dogs: Moffat County wrestlers lead in points on Day 1 of regional tourney |

Top Dogs: Moffat County wrestlers lead in points on Day 1 of regional tourney

Members of the Moffat County High School wrestling team gather on the MCHS stage as part of a Thursday send-off before the regional tournament.

If the opening day is any indication, Moffat County High School wrestling could pick up a regional championship for the second consecutive year.

MCHS grapplers were ranked first among 14 teams Friday night during the two-day 3A Region 3 Tournament in Englewood. The Bulldogs’ 93 points put them in great position — past top contender Lamar’s 88 — going into the second day of action Saturday.

With 12 of 14 slots on the roster filled, MCHS not only has every athlete still in competition, but 10 of those wrestlers are in the regional semifinals and guaranteed to place in the top six.

Several Bulldogs only had one bout, as Chris Moschetti took a win by forfeit against Steamboat Springs’ Mohammed Alnajdawi in the 132-pound weight class to progress, and Daniel Caddy (138) and Ethan Powers (145) pinned Skyview’s Sebastian Viernes and Eagle Valley’s Jason Morrison, respectively.

At 106, Dagan White’s fall against Lamar’s Caleb Rigsby put him into the semis, while Miki Klimper — ranked No. 1 in the region and in the state — took a swift victory by pin against Jonathan Waller of Faith Christian to secure his spot in the 170 bracket.

Isiaih Herod (126), Drake Zimmerman (152) and Elias Peroulis (182) each took two wins by fall Friday to get to semifinals, including Peroulis’s defeat of Englewood’s Ricardo Chinas in only 24 seconds.

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Greg Hixson (160) started the day with a pin of Faith Christian’s Elias Akins, followed by a 7-6 decision against Middle Park’s Dylan Kloss.

Competing at 113, Blake Juergens opened the tourney with a fall against Laurel Acab-Schneider of Conifer but went to the consolation rounds with an 11-7 loss to Carlos Sanchez of Denver West. 195’s Jefferson Piatt ran into trouble in his first match, pinned by Elizabeth’s Azadian Romero, though he came roaring back with a win over Conifer’s Caleb Barker, a fall that took 56 seconds.

In the 220 class, Toryn Hume did not see a bout Friday, but a bye round and good seeding — thanks to his state qualification last season — instantly put him in semis in a division that has only five athletes striving for four spots at the state championships.