|7 wrestlers place; 5 qualify for state|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Two regional champs, one runner-up and two fourth-place finishers will represent HHS well at the Colorado 2A State Wrestling Championships this weekend.
First-round action is slated for Thursday afternoon, Feb. 21, with the finals on Saturday night, Feb. 23 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Regional action was held Feb. 15-16 at NJC in Sterling.
In addition to the five state qualifiers, Holyoke had two fifth-place finishers, as well.
Jesus Hermosillo and Dylan Kotch claimed regional championships at 195 and 220 lbs. respectively.
Both wrestlers have been performing well all year, said coach Jack Garrison, and he looks for them to do well this weekend as they end their 2012-13 season.
Spencer Kotch works to put Lyons’ Jon Hickman’s shoulders on the
Nicholas Ortner wrestles smart with Kyler Churchwell of Wray in
Spencer Kotch made it to the regional championship at 170 lbs. He finished as runner-up, wrestling the best tournament of his career, according to coach Garrison.
Nicholas Ortner at 138 lbs. and Astolfo Rojo at 182 both placed fourth at regionals and round out the Dragon qualifiers.
Ortner has been nursing a bad shoulder but performed well at regionals, said Garrison.
When he won a 5-2 decision over Kyler Churchwell of Wray to put him in the match for third and fourth, Ortner knew he was going to state.
In the regional tourney, he had already defeated both wrestlers who were competing for fifth and sixth, so neither one would be able to challenge him for the trip to state.
Rojo, on the other hand, had to sweat it out to see who placed fifth at 182 lbs. Wray’s Matt Sullivan defeated Rojo for third place, so the Dragon wrestler watched with much interest as A.C. Landrey of Lutheran-Parker and Brody Croy of Highland battled it out for fifth and sixth.
If Croy had won the match, he could have challenged Rojo for the trip to state. It was a relief for the Dragons when Landrey won fifth. Since Rojo had already defeated him earlier in the day, he could not challenge for the state berth.
Rojo filled the heavyweight wrestling slot last year and the first part of this season. He cut to 182s in January, seeing a better chance for making it to state. Coach Garrison said he stepped up and did a good job.
Astolfo Rojo pins A.C. Landrey of Lutheran-Parker in 1:45 to send
Eric Rojo at 106 lbs. and T.J. Gertner at 160 both earned fifth-place ribbons at regionals. Rojo had already been defeated by the fourth-place finisher so was unable to challenge him.
However, Gertner had not yet met fourth-place Ryan Schoene of Lutheran-Parker during the regional tourney. Following the championships, Gertner and Schoene competed in the wrestle-back, where Schoene retained his state berth with a 5-2 win over Gertner.
Gertner fought hard for his fifth-place win, as he battled with Sean Belfrage of Highland who had pinned Gertner earlier in the tourney.
Garrison noted Gertner has come on strong toward the end of this season. With more mat time and summer experience, the coach looks for good things from Gertner, who is a sophomore this year.
Freshman Eric Rojo has also wrestled well throughout the year, said Garrison. He lost his quarterfinal match at regionals in a 14-15 decision and finished strong with a 1:30 pin for fifth place.
Coach Garrison was quick to cite the importance of all the wrestlers in the room who help each other to see success. “We have had a great year,” he added.
Luke Stewart and Javy Rojo both stepped in to varsity positions for regionals when needed and gave it all they had, said Garrison.
Holyoke finished with 116 team points for sixth place. Highland won the regional tourney with 202.5, followed by Wray with 171, Sedgwick County-Fleming 151, Yuma 128, Akron 120.5, Holyoke 116, Merino 107, Lyons 90, Wiggins 88, Stratton 67.5, Byers 61, Lutheran-Parker 44 and Miami-Yoder 3.
T.J. Gertner works to turn Highland’s Sean Belfrage, who he eventually
Individual match results for HHS wrestlers follow:
106 lbs.—Eric Rojo placed fifth. He lost a close 14-15 decision to Michael Flores of Wray who eventually placed fourth, was pinned in 2:02 by third-place finisher William Hickman of Lyons and pinned Nathan Rivera of Miami-Yoder in 1:30.
126 lbs.—Fernando Lopez was pinned in 1:07 by eventual champion Ramon Tarin of Wray and was pinned in 1:29 by sixth-place finisher Skyler Collins of Wiggins.
132 lbs.—Morgan Golden was pinned in 1:48 by eventual champion Seth Harrington of Sedgwick County-Fleming and was pinned in 1:49 by fifth-place finisher Jaxson Hastings of Merino.
138 lbs.—Nicholas Ortner placed fourth. He won a 9-0 decision over Stas Kjergaard of Lutheran-Parker, was pinned in 4:33 by eventual champion Kris Trujillo of Highland, won a 5-2 decision over Kyler Churchwell of Wray and was pinned in 4:07 by Bryce Leifheit of Yuma.
145 lbs.—Luke Stewart lost a 2-4 decision to fifth-place finisher Cody Kirby of Byers and lost a 2-5 decision to sixth-place finisher Nick Duvall of Sedgwick County-Fleming.
152 lbs.—Javy Rojo was pinned in 1:15 by eventual champion Josh Baker of Merino and lost a 5-7 decision to Cameron Leon of Wiggins.
160 lbs.—T.J. Gertner placed fifth. He was pinned in 3:15 by Sean Belfrage of Highland, pinned Matt Ewertz of Wiggins in 4:44, lost a 2-14 decision to third-place finisher Austin Spear of Akron and pinned Sean Belfrage of Highland in 4:59 when he met him again. In his challenge match, he lost a 2-5 decision to fourth-place finisher Ryan Schoene of Lutheran-Parker.
170 lbs.—Spencer Kotch placed second. He won a 14-3 decision over Caleb Ramey of Merino, pinned Jon Hickman of Lyons in 1:55 and was pinned in 1:36 by M.C. Griffin of Stratton.
182 lbs.—Astolfo Rojo placed fourth. He was pinned in 2:47 by second-place finisher Mitch VanDuran of Sedgwick County-Fleming, pinned A.C. Landrey of Lutheran-Parker in 1:45 and was pinned in 2:19 by Matt Sullivan of Wray.
195 lbs.—Jesus Hermosillo placed first. He pinned Tyler Mosher of Miami-Yoder in :51, pinned Luke Korf of Yuma in 1:33, pinned Kobee Sameshima of Highland in :43 and won an 11-4 decision over Zach Cooper of Stratton.
220 lbs.—Dylan Kotch placed first. He pinned Gaspar Vasquez of Lyons in :46, won a 5-2 decision over Trace Elliott of Merino, pinned Kyner Clay of Byers in 4:28 and won an 8-2 decision over Theodore Zimmer of Highland.
285 lbs.—Fernando Rojo was pinned in :35 by Reed Christensen of Akron and was pinned in 1:52 by D.J. Snelling of Yuma.
Holyoke Enterprise February 21, 2013