‘He doesn’t surprise us’: Hayden’s Hawn guaranteed a place on podium in first state appearance

Zimmerman advances to much-anticipated final against defending champ

Hayden junior Cody Hawn advanced past his quarterfinal match into the semifinals at the Colorado High School Activities Association State Wrestling Championships on Friday, Feb. 18, at Ball Arena.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

DENVER — Hayden junior Cody Hawn doesn’t consider himself an underdog. He went into the Colorado High School Activities Association State Wrestling Championships in the middle of the bracket. Not a high seed, but not a low seed. He did have high expectations.

Coach Matt Linsacum said ahead of state that Hawn could show up and surprise people, but he only partially meant that.

“We say Cody surprises people, but he doesn’t really surprise us,” Linsacum said. “We know what he’s capable of.”

Linsacum wasn’t surprised when Hawn won his first-round match and advanced to the 170-pound quarterfinals, where a takedown in the final seconds gave him the 7-5 win on Friday, Feb. 18. The victory pushed him to the semifinals, guaranteeing him a place in the top six.

Hawn encountered No. 2 seed Ty Walck of Cedaredge in the semifinals Friday night. Walck and Hawn met early this season in Grand Junction, where the Cedaredge senior pinned Hawn in 1 minute and 2 seconds. But that was two and a half months ago.

Hawn had since won regionals and knew he could win. Hawn had to score to come back from a 7-0 deficit. Multiple takedowns allowed Hawn to get within four points, 8-5, but time was running out. He let Walck go, looking to get at least another takedown, but wasn’t able to bring him down.

“I have really good conditioning. I beat a lot of people in the third round,” Hawn said. “I feel like I got really nervous, and also, I haven’t wrestled kids like him a lot. He was way stronger than a lot of the kids I’ve wrestled.”

Hawn is a junior, but this is just his first appearance at state. He didn’t meet his own expectations, but he’ll stand on the podium on Saturday, Feb. 19, and he’s happy about that.

Tigers senior Dylan Zimmerman won his quarterfinal and then got a break in the semifinal due to a medical forfeit. After years of just missing the opportunity, Zimmerman got a little help getting to the championship, where he will face Zach Tittle, a senior out of Highland — and a defending state champion.

“We’ve been focusing on this one match basically for a year now, so we’re right where we expected,” Linsacum said.

Senior Israel Santos lost in his 195-pound quarterfinal, sending him to the consolation bracket, where he lost and was eliminated from the tournament.

Every single Hayden Tiger who started the day in the consolation bracket won their first match, so no one suffered back-to-back losses and a fast elimination. However, all of them lost their next match, concluding their time at state.

Chase Preston, Joe Harris, Triston Day, Sabyn Hager and Kodi Ingols all gained valuable experience and all have at least one more year left of high school to return and podium.

Linsacum said the experience they gained is critical to them following up with a more successful season.

Soroco senior Austin Little had a short first state experience, losing his first two matches.

Henry Dismuke suffered the same fate, but, as a sophomore, he couldn’t be too upset about his efforts. Dismuke will be back.

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