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Photo by Tamie Meck The Cedaredge Bruins placed 13 wrestlers and scored 232 points to win the annual Delta Panther Invitational Wrestling Tournament last Saturday. This is the second consecutive year the Bruins won at Delta.
Photo by Tamie Meck Bruins’ junior Taj Vanderlinde pins Basalt’s William Rivera in the 220-pound championship match Saturday at Delta.

Bruins repeat mat champs

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For the second consecutive year Cedaredge claimed the team win at the annual Delta Panther Invitational wrestling tournament. Thirteen teams competed at this year's tournament. Cedaredge placed wrestlers at 13 weights and scored 232 points -- 66 points ahead of second place Paonia.

Of the six Bruins wrestling for the championship, two took home gold. Sophomore Sean Dale took a total of 1 minute, 16 seconds on the mat to pin his way to the championship match. In the finals he won by a 7-0 decision over Presley Pene of Hotchkiss.

Junior Taj Vanderlinde pinned Basalt's William Rivera in 1:54 to win the 220-pound title.

Taking silver were sophomore Ryan Imhoff at 113 pounds, Alex McCracken (132), David Schipmann (145) and Jered Hulteen (160).

Three Bruins wrestlers won bronze at Delta. Wrestling at 120, freshman Trey Geyer placed third, tying for most points scored on the mat by a single wrestler, with 49 points. Geyer lost in quarterfinals to top-five ranked Owen Berry of Buena Vista, then wrestled back to a third-place finish on a 9-5 win over Berry.

Senior Colton Hoerr was 4-1 for the tournament and won the third-place match in overtime against Delta's Brandon Harper. Drew Markley (170) placed third on an 8-2 decision over Meeker. And freshman heavyweight Derek Sanchez completed the Bruins' team win by pinning John Mall sophomore Dylan Crump in 2:35.

Freshman 106-pounder Sam Campbell placed fifth, and senior Danny Mendoza (138) was seeded 12th and finished fifth. Junior Toby Waddell (195) placed sixth.

"It's a tough tournament," said head coach Cutter Garrison. After the tournament he told his wrestlers that their five championship round losses show that the team needs to be more vigilant. "Get after them in the finals and don't be satisfied with just getting to the finals," said Garrison. "You've got to win the tournament."

The Bruins anticipate a winning season after placing eighth in the state last season. On Friday the Bruins dominated the mat against Basalt with a 66-3 dual win. In early season Class 2A On the Mat rankings they come in at No. 2.

"It's a talented team," said Garrison, who is now in his fourth year as head coach at Cedaredge. The team has a roster of 31. The 10 returning seniors were freshmen when he arrived. "We've been working for four years," and wrestling with consistency, said Garrison.

In their heads and in their hearts "they love wrestling now," said Garrison. "Wrestling's back on the map in Cedaredge, Colorado."

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