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Local wrestlers qualify for state tournament

M-CHS, Mancos, Dolores and Dove Creek will be represented at prestigious meet

From the time that they begin competing at the peewee level, most wrestlers dream of one day competing in a high school state tournament. Now, after solid performances at their respective regional tournaments last weekend, seven local wrestlers will get that chance.

Abeyta and Featherman qualify for M-CHS

Leading the way for the Montezuma-Cortez High School at the Class 3A Region 1 Tournament in Montrose, Feb. 14-15, were Anthony Abeyta and Austin Featherman.

For Abeyta, a berth in next week’s state tournament came after a second-place finish in the regional tournament’s 145-pound division that came courtesy of pin victories over Moffat County’s Taylor Coleman and Bayfield’s Deegan Barnes, and a major decision win over Olathe’s Daniel Gray.

Abeyta’s only loss came by forfeit to Pagosa Springs’ Brae Bergdolt in the 145-pound class championship match.

For Featherman, a spot in next week’s state tournament was made possible by a fourth-place finish at 126 pounds after pin victories over Coal Ridge’s Brandon Short and Moffat County’s Dario Alexander. Featherman lost to Alamosa’s Trevor Maestas and Rifle’s Cauy Smith.

Narrowly missing out on a trip to the state tournament for M-CHS were Ryan Pipkin, who placed fifth in the 120-pound division, and Ethan Root, who finished fifth at 152 pounds.

M-CHS finished 11th overall in the tournament, which was won by Pagosa Springs High School.

Three Mancos wrestlers qualify for state

Three members of the Mancos High School team will go to state after cracking the top four at the Class 2A Region 1 Tournament in Montrose, Feb. 14-15.

Chase Moore finished third at 160 pounds. He played basketball last year.Moore secured an 8-5 decision victory over Meeker High School’s Dax Sheridan and a pin victory over Hotchkiss’ Ethan Guy. His only loss was by major decision to Paonia’s Grey Neal.

Freshman Ayden Matthews placed fourth at 120 pounds after wins over Rangely’s Braxton Moore and Paonia’s Trey Berjarano and lost twice to Cedaredge’s Ryan Imhoff.Lot Martin finished fourth at 170 pounds after wins over Paonia’s Shane Odom and Rangely’s Anthony Garner.Mancos’ Breccen Morelli and Colt Fury narrowly missed qualifying for state after finishing fifth in their weight classes. Mancos finished sixth in the 15-team regional tournament.

Escarcega and Sanders qualify

Leading the way for Dolores High School at the Class 2A Region 1 Tournament was senior Bryan Escarcega, who qualified for state after placing second in the 220-pound weight class.

Escarcega’s regional wins came over Cedaredge’s Christopher Alejandre and Soroco’s Tristan Singer. The Dolores senior lost by injury forfeit to Paonia’s Austyn Norris in his weight class’ championship match.

Dove Creek sends one to state

Jayden Sanders, who placed fourth in the 132-pound division at the Class 2A Region 1 Tournament and will go to state.

He opened the tournament with a loss to Hayden’s Dylan Zimmerman before rebounding with pin victories over Norwood’s Cash Joseph and Mancos’ Lane Greenlee.

The Colorado state tournament is at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Feb. 20-22.