FREDERICK -- One on one, Joesph Prieto is a man of few words. Of course, few things need to be said when a wrestler performs like the Holy Family 126-pounder did Saturday.
Prieto came up with one of team's most dominating wins of the Gary Daum Classic en route to his second tournament championship of the season. The sophomore caught and pinned Monarch's Landon Alm in the first period of their finals match, dishing out a fall to the Monarch wrestler in 1 minute, 20 seconds.
Impressive as the victory was in its expediency, it stirred few emotions in Prieto. Do not get the Tiger wrong, he was happy with his victory. But he also just sees it as another step toward larger goals.
"I want to do better at state than last year," said Prieto, who finished sixth at the Class 3A state tournament. "And that means treating every match I wrestle like it's a finals match."
Prieto's business-like approach helped his team to one of its best finishes in its history of competing at Saturday's tournament, formerly known as the Boulder Valley Invite. The Tigers placed six wrestlers, collected three championships and placed third at the 13-team invitational. While Joe Domko believes his team still has some fine-tuning to do before everything is said and done, he also sees the finish as a major stride.
"I don't think we even had anyone in the finals last year, so today was a big deal," the Holy Family coach said. "I thought we'd be competitive with the way we finished last year. But we also lost a lot of seniors."
The tournament also heartened Domko, since it was the first bracketed event in which all of his wrestlers were at the weights they will compete at for the remainder of the season. Before Saturday, the Tigers were shuffled around due to injuries.
"They're right where they need to be," the coach said.
Julian Prieto and Vincent Casados rounded out the Tigers' finals at the classic, but their wins came under much different circumstances than Joseph Prieto's.
Julian Prieto, Joseph's twin brother, had his arm hoisted through an injury default when Golden's 120-pound Romelo Salas was unable to wrestle in the finals. And Casados had to stage a late comeback in the 113-pound championship after falling behind early.
Casados earned a 6-5 decision over Frederick's Jesse Ortiz with a strong surge in the final minute of the match. He just missed pinning Ortiz, but catching him in a cradle gave him the winning points.
"Jesse is a really good wrestler, so was glad I was able to pull that off," he said.
Casados was thrilled with his Gary Daum title, but it was not the only reason why the sophomore was flying high after his match. The Holy Family wrestler had tangled with Ortiz before, but did not come out on top the last time they met.
"I faced him last year and I think I lost to him 5-3," he said. "It was good to get a win against someone I lost to."
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.
GARY DAUM CLASSIC
At Frederick HS
Team scores -- Longmont 204.5, Platte Valley 150, Holy Family 144, Boulder 143, Golden 133, Erie 124, Fairview 117.5, Monarch 93, Frederick 90, Niwot 81.5, Skyline 65, Silver Creek 63, Lyons 20.
106 -- Clay Robinson, Niwot, pins Nikko Jaramillo, Platte Valley, :33.
113 -- Vincent Casados, Holy Family, def. Jesse Ortiz, Frederick, 6-5.
120 -- Julian Prieto, Holy Family, default Romelo Salas, Golden.
126 -- Joseph Prieto, Holy Family, pins Landon Alm, Monarch, 1:30.
132 -- Brandon Wetsch, Erie, pins Austin Walters, Platte Valley, 3:48.
138 -- Melvin Gutierrez, Fairview, def. Martin Selby, Boulder, 7-5.
145 -- Chris Robinson, Fairview, major dec. Lane Olsen, Longmont, 12-4.
152 -- Devin Rothrock, Golden inj. default Drake Greeott, Longmont.
160 -- Ladd Bunker, Erie, def. Fernando Ramos Vega, Longmont, 8-5.
170 -- Brad Blackstock, Golden, major dec. Connor Stengel, Longmont, 9-0.
182 -- Cito Balsells, Fairview, def. Drew Shaw, Platte Valley, 7-5.
195 -- Jaime Ramos Vega, Longmont, inj. default Ray Rodriguez, Skyline
220 -- Noah Lennox, Golden, def. Dutch Warner, Longmont, 2-0.
285 -- Dakota Gulley, Golden, def. Chris Palacios, Longmont, 3-2.
106 -- Anthony Nieto, Erie, def. Preston Cates, Fairview, 2-0.
113 -- Andrew Jaramillo, Platte Valley, def. Ben Ferrera, Monarch, 5-3 (OT).
120 -- Christian Hernandez, Erie, default Braden Richards, Skyline.
126 -- Ryan Waite, Platte Valley, def. Tobias Campbell, Erie, 10-5.
132 -- Eloy Valdez, Longmont, def. Cody Campos, Frederick, 3-1.
138 -- Colten Montgomery, Longmont, default Dylan Shoop, Frederick.
145 -- Keeton William, Boulder, default Brayden Sharp, Platte Valley.
152 -- Josh Harrison, Boulder, major dec. Griff Wendland, Monarch, 18-8.
160 -- Jacobo Jiminez, Boulder, def. Noah Payne, Frederick, 10-3.
170 -- Jack Wizlich, Boulder, def. Damien O'Hare, Niwot, 7-5.
182 -- Dakota Silva, Silver Creek, pins Ben Lavoie, Holy Family, 2:01
195 -- Kenny Jones, Silver Creek, pins Evon Franz, Platte Valley, 4:02.
220 -- Daniel Jansen, Holy Family, def. Theo Colucci, Boulder, 7-3.
285 -- Willy Clements, Holy Family, def. David Plute, Lyons, 2-1.