The Hotchkiss Bulldogs claimed two regional champions and will send seven wrestlers to the 2A state wrestling tournament. The Class 3A Region 1 tournament was held Feb. 15 and 16 at Grand Valley High School.
Seniors Joe Boyle (145) and Zack Taylor (285) were undefeated to claim regional titles.
Twin brothers Dustin Head and Jesse Head will both represent Hotchkiss at state. At 152, Dustin Head (17-10) placed third at regionals and is a returning state qualifier. This will be Jesse's first trip to state. He pinned his way to the championship round and lost by pinfall to No. 1-seeded Brandon Coleman (36-2) of Salida to finish second.
Junior Garrett Toothaker entered regional competition as the No. 2 seed at 113 pounds. Toothaker pinned Ashlee Griffiths of Moffat County (20-16) to advance to the championship round, where he placed second to Austin Shank of Olathe (31-4).
Tony Ibarra placed third in the 160-pound division after falling in the third round to tournament champion Michael Salazar of Grand Valley.
With five wrestlers competing in the 106-pound division, junior Jake Hubbell (19-12) only needed one win to earn a ticket to state. Hubbell advanced on byes to the semifinals, where he lost by major decision to senior Cody Pfau of Grand Valley. Hubbell placed fourth with a win over Moffat County.
Boyle (32-3) is one of four returning state qualifiers for the Bulldogs. He entered the regional tournament as the No. 1 seed and battled No. 2 Ruben Chagoya of Basalt, winning by decision to claim the Region 1 title.
Toothaker and Taylor are also repeat state qualifiers.
At 182, senior Richard Steckel opened with a loss by pinfall to No. 1 seed Koby Close of Buena Vista (32-1). Steckel finished the tournament at 1-3 to place fifth.
At 126, junior Tanner Bizer (29-10) was eliminated from state contention with a sudden-death loss in consolation wrestling action to Zack O'Dell (26-9) of Gunnison. Junior Hank Edwards (132), sophomore Tristen Todd (195) and sophomore Trenton Ballard (220) were 0-2.
Hotchkiss earned 143 points to place fourth in the 12-team tournament. Buena Vista earned 186.5 points to win the tournament. Olathe placed second with 173 points.blog comments powered by Disqus