Paonia wrestler Grey Neal won the 170-pound division and Zeb Etter was runner up at 152 pounds at the Western State Technique and Competition Camp All-Star duals at Western Colorado University in Gunnison.
To get to the championship round, wrestlers must go undefeated in pool matches, said Eagles head wrestling coach Nate Wiggins. Neal won his division on a first-period pin over Olathe's Wyatt Mansker, while Etter, who won eight of nine matches, lost the championship match to a two-time camp finalist and one-time champion from the Mile High Wrestling Club in Texas.
About 1,400 wrestlers from throughout the country competed at the camps, the second-highest numbers since it opened in 1963. In addition to the duals, wrestlers attend clinics with some of the best coaches in the region and have an opportunity to raft, fish and participate in other activities.
Sixteen Paonia wrestlers went to the camp. Those summer matches are "very important to a successful (winter) season," said Wiggins. After Paonia hosted the Summer Duals camp the first weekend in June, Etter and Reagan Todd competed at the eight-day Intensive Camp at the University of Wyoming. In their three camps both have wrestled more matches than in any one winter season, said Wiggins. "It will be game-changing for both of them."