GREELEY -- During his two-plus seasons as the head coach of the Broomfield wrestling team, Joe Pereira has learned to rely on one indisputable truth about his Eagles: When the competition is most fierce, Broomfield tends to rise to the occasion.
That form held true once again on Saturday at the 14th annual Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament. The Eagles sent five athletes to the medal stand while winning a pair of individual titles, an effort that paved the way for a second-place overall finish for the Eagles in the two-day, 62-team extravaganza.
Broomfield finished with 214.5 points, the most among the Class 4A programs in the tournament and only 14 behind tournament champion Pomona.
"We do better in tougher tournaments. The tougher the tournament, the better we're going to do," Pereira said. "For state and stuff, we'll need to get some guys who didn't place here to place. So we've got some work to do. But this is a good tournament, and this is a good showing for where we're at right now."
Broomfield advanced three wrestlers into the championship matches Saturday afternoon, getting a runner-up finish from sophomore Darek Huff at 106 pounds and championships from senior Drew Romero (113 pounds) and junior Phil Downing (145 pounds).
Romero used a takedown early in the second period to establish a 3-0 lead in his championship bout against Joel Salomon of Windsor. Romero posted another takedown later in the frame while eventually cruising to a 7-3 win.
Downing, who, like Romero, will be aiming for a third individual state championship later this season, had to survive a bit of drama before securing his title at 145 pounds. The Eagles' junior was clinging to a 4-2 lead when it appeared as if his opponent, senior James Price from Highland, had executed a successful reversal on Downing as time expired. Highland's coaches argued for Price, the No. 1 ranked 145-pounder in Class 2A, but to no avail. The score stood, allowing Downing to celebrate his championship.
"I felt I still had control, but I still feel like I let up at the end," Downing said. "I still knew they couldn't give (the points) because I still had hip control, and you can't give two unless you lose control. I feel like this is a good step for what I want to achieve. I feel as a team we're doing pretty good."
Huff fell behind quickly in his championship match against Coronado's undefeated sophomore Trent Watson, falling behind 7-1 in the first period before dropping an 11-3 decision. Broomfield junior Zach Stodden won the third-place match at 170 pounds, recording a 3-1 victory against Adrian Mack of Discovery Canyon. Eagles heavyweight Austin Harris placed
"This is a tough tournament, so to finish second is pretty good," Pereira said. "We had some kids who wrestled well. I think Darek Huff was a little disappointed with how he wrestled and I think we could have wrestled a little tougher with him. Overall though, I think we're pretty happy. We can place more guys and we haven't seen our best wrestling. Which is good at this point of the season."
Legacy also had two athletes earn medals, with senior Connor Casady taking third at 160 pounds after his opponent defaulted due to a knee injury before the third-place match. The Lightning's Donovan Cogil placed sixth at 113 pounds.
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NORTHERN COLORADO CHRISTMAS TOURNAMENT
At Island Grove Event Center, Greeley
Team scores -- Pomona 228.5, Broomfield, 214.5, Cheyenne East 211.5, Discovery Canyon 189.0, Windsor 188.0, Greeley West 171.5, Centauri 171, Thompson Valley 171, Coronado 158.5, Arvada West 146, Mountain Range 134, Pueblo Central 132, Brighton 131, Fossil Ridge 131, Highland 128.5, Eaton 125.5, Bennett 124.5, Pine Creek 124.5, Valley 122, Lakewood 115, Legacy 114.5, Chaparral 101, Golden 93, Cheyenne Central 85.5, Brush 83.5, Pueblo County 75.5, Adams City 63.5, Jefferson 62, Platte Valley 62, Thomas Jefferson 62, Northglenn 60, Palmer Ridge 60, Berthoud 58.5, Strasburg 54, Liberty 53, Prairie View 53, Elizabeth 51, Doherty 50, Holyoke 50, Columbine 49, Longmont 46.5, Lewis Palmer 45.5, Chatfield 45, Eaglecrest 45, Mountain View 45, Abraham Lincoln 44.5, Loveland 43, Laramie 41, Thornton 37, Northridge 34, Niwot 33.5, Robertson 33.5, Erie 32.5, Middle Park 32.5, Castle View 28, Greeley Central 27., Estes Park 23, University 18, Conifer 11, Sargent 9, Antonito 4, Green Mountain 0.
106 -- Trent Watson, Coronado, def. Darek Huff, Broomfield, 11-3.
113 -- Drew Romero, Broomfield, def. Joel Salomon, Windsor, 7-3.
120 -- AJ Rees, Discovery Canyon, def. Josh Rosales, Pomona, 4-1.
126 -- Payton Tawater, Arvada West, def. Brody Cress, Cheyenne East, 15-5.
132 -- Bryce Meredith, Cheyenne Central, def. Raymond Robledo, Pomona, 9-5.
138 -- Geordan Martinez, Pine Creek, def. Kris Trujillo, Highland, 14-2.
145 -- Phil Downing, Broomfield, def. James Price, Highland, 4-2.
152 -- Randy Boerner, Mountain Range, def. Keenan Willits, Pueblo Central, 13-0.
160 -- Archie Colgan, Pomona, def. Micah Keys, Centauri, 7-1.
170 -- Caleb Copeland, Bennett, def. Fransciso Marquez, Thompson Valley, 20-5.
182 -- Jareb Aziz, Centauri, def. Joel Hernandez, Brighton, 4-3.
195 -- Tevis Bartlett, Cheyenne East, def. Payton Tapia, Fossil Ridge, 11-2.
220 -- Brian Mayberry, Columbine, def. Dalton Shoop, Eaton, 9-4.
285 -- Austin Waterman, Greeley West, pinned Jorge Rodriguez, Mountain Range, 2:58.
LOCAL THIRD-PLACE MATCHES
160 -- Connor Casady, Legacy, default Austin Lindsay, Fossil Ridge.
170 -- Zach Stodden, Broomfield, def. Adrian Mack, Discovery Canyon, 3-1.
LOCAL FIFTH-PLACE MATCHES
113 -- Jess Hankin, Coronado, def. Donovan Cogill, Legacy, 8-0.
LOCAL SEVENTH-PLACE MATCHES
160 -- Ladd Bunker, Erie, def. Fernando Ramos-Vega, Longmont, 9-3.
182 -- Forrest Wetterstrom, Longmont, def. Tony Molinaro, Pueblo Central, 12-2.
285 -- Dane Drimmer, Chaparral, pinned Austin Harris, Broomfield, 4:36.