FREDERICK -- Mead 220-pounder Jorge Cortez has come a long way this season and he feels like he owes much of his recent improvement to Mavericks teammate Kyle Couch.

Currently ranked No. 1 in Class 4A at 182 pounds in Tim Yount's On The Mat rankings, Couch took third in the 145-pound division at the 2011 Class 3A state meet and third at 152 pounds in 2012. Wrestling him once a season is something few Colorado wrestlers look forward to.

Cortez, a junior, wrestles Couch every day.

"I feel like I've gotten way better wrestling with Kyle Couch," Cortez said. "I've really improved. You can kind of relax a little bit when you know your training opponent is a two-time state placer."

Cortez (18-6) went 2-1 with two pins in contested matches at the Tri-Valley Conference Dual Meet at Frederick High School on Saturday. His only loss was a 3-minute, 55-second pin against Windsor's Jacob Winter, who is ranked seventh in 4A.

Late in the third-place dual, Cortez pinned Berthoud's Nate Ryken in 5:20 to help the Mavericks win 39-33.

"I was shooting, doing what coach told me to and really listening to the coaches," Cortez said. "I had some tough matches but I've really improved this year and I've been conditioning more, which has helped a lot."

Couch won both of his matches on Saturday, including a 3-0 decision over second-ranked Cosme Martinez from Windsor, who beat the Mavericks 68-3 in pool play.


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Third-ranked Windsor took the conference title. The Wizards defeated eight-ranked Roosevelt 61-20 in the first-place dual. Berthoud finished fourth and host Frederick finished fifth.

Sophomore Jesse Ortiz, Frederick's most experienced wrestler, went undefeated at 113 pounds. Warriors head coach Gerry Galway said the conference tournament was a good learning experience for the young Warriors with the regional tournament on the horizon.

"I feel like we can do well at regionals," said Warriors senior Nick Letkomiller, whose 182-pound division will be particularly loaded. "We just need to keep working hard, get our conditioning up and make sure we perfect the moves we need to perfect."

For the sixth-place Erie Tigers, Will Schell (26-6) went 5-0, winning four matches at 145 pounds and one at 152. After missing his sophomore season with a stress fracture in the L5 disc in his back, Schell said he wanted to make the most of his chance at the 2013 Tri-Valley meet.

"I missed it so much. But just being able to wrestle again is awesome," said Schell, who recovered from a knee injury to avoid missing the 2013 conference meet. "I just wanted to go out there and have no regrets."

Battling temporary eligibility issues stemming from missed school time due to team-wide illness, the Skyline Falcons finished eighth with only four wrestlers in the lineup on Saturday. Sophomore Ruben Rivera won four matches at 113 pounds and lost only to Frederick's Ortiz. Senior 120-pounder Braden Richards finished 3-2 on the day.

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi

 

TRI-VALLEY LEAGUE DUAL MEET

At Frederick HS

POOL A

Windsor 67, Erie 11; Mead 60, Northridge 13; Windsor 68, Mead 3; Erie 45, Northridge 18; Windsor 83, Northridge 0; Mead 45, Erie 30.

POOL B

Roosevelt 77, Skyline 6; Berthoud 43, Frederick 18; Roosevelt 69, Frederick 11; Berthoud 51, Skyline 9; Roosevelt 49, Berthoud 39; Frederick 57, Skyline 6.

CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS

Windsor 58, Berthoud 17; Roosevelt 48, Mead 27.

CONSOLATION SEMIFINALS

Erie 45, Skyline 12; Frederick 54, Northridge 15.

FINALS

First place: Windsor 61, Roosevelt 20

Third place: Mead 39, Berthoud 33

Fifth place: Frederick 42, Erie 30

Seventh place: Northridge 18, Skyline 6

MEAD INDIVIDUALS

106 -- Open; 113 -- Sage Budd 4-1; 120 -- Dyllan Burch 1-3; 126 -- Austin Van Hooker 2-3; 132 -- Christian Cortez 1-4; 138 -- Justice Lovato 1-4; 145 -- Open; 152 -- Hugo Ramirez 1-4; 160 -- Marco Clark 1-4; 170 -- Gabe Alvarado 4-1; 182 -- Kyle Couch 5-0; 195 -- Gabe Robinson 3-2; 220 -- Jorge Cortez 4-1; 285 -- Jack Gallegos 3-2.

FREDERICK INDIVIDUALS

106 -- Open; 113 -- Jesse Ortiz 5-0; 120 -- Chance Warnock 2-3; 126 -- Isaac Chavez 2-3; 132 -- Cody Campos 2-3; 138 -- Dylan Shoop 4-1; 145 -- David Yang 0-2, Reilly Chase 0-1, Jordan DeFalco 2-0; 152 -- Brandon DeFalco 2-2, David Yang 1-0; 160 -- Noah Payne 3-2; 170 -- Nick Henderson 4-1; 182 -- Nick Letkomiller 3-2; 195 -- Open; 220 -- Zach Tymoczko 2-2; 285 -- Zach Tymoczko 1-0.

ERIE INDIVIDUALS

106 -- Anthony Nieto 3-1, Anthony Willert 1-0; 113 -- Manny Rodriguez 1-2; 120 -- Christian Hernandez 0-4, Noah Sikes 0-1; 126 -- Christian Vanlandingham 0-3, Devon Hansen 1-1; 132 -- Brandon Wetsch 4-0, Kade Martinez 1-0; 138 -- Jacob Schadler 3-2; 145 -- William Schell 4-0; 152 -- William Schell 1-0; 160 -- Ladd Bunker 4-1; 170 -- Michael Adams 2-3; 182 -- Open; 195 -- Open; 220 -- Open; 285 -- Colby Sweeney 3-2.

SKYLINE INDIVIDUALS

106 -- Open; 113 -- Ruben Rivera 4-1; 120 -- Braden Richards 3-2; 126 -- Open; 132 -- Clark Roylance 0-5; 138 -- Jesus Contreras 0-5; 145 -- Open; 152 -- Open; 160 -- Open; 170 -- Open; 182 -- Open; 195 -- Open; 220 -- Open; 285 -- Open.