In a battle between the two top teams in Class 2A On the Mat rankings, No. 2 Paonia defeated No. 1 Cedaredge Thursday night, 39-33. Of the 13 matches wrestled, four were won by decision.
The dual opened at 120, with number one ranked Bruins freshman Trey Geyer pinning Soul Connelly in 1:49. At 126, No. 2 ranked sophomore Sean Dale battled a full three periods against eighth-ranked sophomore Zeb Etter, with Dale winning by a 6-3 decision.
At 132, Caden Meilner pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the night, defeating fourth-ranked Bruins senior Alex McCracken, by a 9-7 decision. After three periods the match was tied at 7-7, with Meilner scoring a takedown 15 seconds into first-round overtime for the win.
Paonia trailed, 9-3.
In the shortest fall of the dual, at 138, top-ranked junior Sackett Chesnik pinned freshman Cameron Quick in 22 seconds, tying the score at 9-9.
Paonia took the lead when No. 4-ranked Paonia senior Clay Campbell scored six points on a 36-second fall over ninth-ranked Bruins senior David Schippman to win the 145-pound match.
In one of the most competitive matches of the night, Bruin Colton Hoerr was the lower ranked of the two heading into the 152-pound match against Eagle Grey Neal, but walked off the mat with a 7-4 win.
At 160, Eagle Jesse Burns, ranked ninth in the state, fought hard in his loss to third-ranked junior Jared Hulteen. Burns tied the match up at 4-4, on a takedown 20 seconds into the final period. Hulteen escaped and was leading, 5-4, when he pinned Burns at 5:03.
Anthony Felice won the 170 match on a third-period fall over Drew Markley. Head coach Nate Wiggins called Felice's win "outstanding."
Felice almost didn't wrestle because he was sick. "I know he's gonna get it done if I put Felice out there," said Wiggins.
Freshman Anthony Miller won the 182-pound match by fall over Toby Waddell, giving Paonia a 33-18 lead. "Miller comes out and gets it done again," said Wiggins. "We put him out there to win a dual and he gets it done."
At 220, No. 2 Bruin Taj Van der Linde won by injury over No. 3 Cyrus Malek-Madani, who was leading, 2-1, after ending the first period with a takedown.
The Eagles clinched the dual win when heavyweight sophomore Levi Peterson pinned Bruin Derek Sanchez in the first round, giving Paonia a 39-24 lead with two matches remaining.
Wrestling ended at 106, with a 7-2 decision in favor of Bruins freshman Sam Campbell over Eagles freshman Reagan Todd. Bruin Ryan Imhoff won by forfeit at 113.
Heading into this week's competition, Cedaredge remains in first place in On the Mat rankings, followed by Rocky Ford, Paonia, Wray and Hotchkiss.
Fowler, John Mall, Soroco, Norwood and Sedgwick County/Fleming complete the list and round out the top-10 teams in the state.