2 Moffat County senior wrestlers make it to final round of state tourney
Moffat County wrestling will have two grapplers in the mix during Saturday night’s, Feb. 18, final round of the CHSAA State Championships.
Seniors Kaden Hixson and Makaela Simpson each went 3-0 during Thursday and Friday’s initial rounds at state, held at Ball Arena in Denver.
Each of them earned a victory in the semifinals Friday night to move on to the final round.
Hixson was paired with a Western Slope regional rival, Gunnison’s Brock Fry, in the 3A 126-pound semis. The MoCo senior was ahead 4-0 thanks to a near-fall before Fry achieved a late takedown in the third period.
Allowing no other points against him, Hixson got his hand raised in triumph with a 4-2 decision.
The result was much closer than his earlier matches, both of which ended with Hixson winning by pin.
Simpson also pinned her first two opponents in the girls 170 weight class, and in the semis, she got Sicily Frates Pomona down for the count midway through the second period.
Both Hixson and Simpson were seeded second overall in their weights, though their championship matches will have different dynamics.
Hixson will face Nick Dardanes, a sophomore from Brush who is the top seed of the 126 bracket and has consistently been ranked highly this season.
For Simpson, it will be a rematch against Platte Valley senior Nevaeh Garcia, who has defeated Simpson multiple times. Garcia outlasted the top seed, Alison Evans of Vista Ridge, in a 7-5 semifinal win.
MCHS senior Michael Voloshin was the third Bulldog wrestler to make it to the semis, pinning two opponents at the 165 class to get there. However, a 7-0 loss to University’s Paxton Daggett put Voloshin in Saturday’s consolation rounds. Voloshin can still place as high as third.
Still in contention to place in the double-elimination tournament for Bulldog boys are sophomores Kaeden Martinez (138 pounds) and Zach Hedman (157), junior Blake Hill (175), and senior Billy Lawton (190).
For girls, freshman Kayla Deaton remains alive in the 130 class.
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