FREDERICK -- Longmont's Jaime Ramos-Vega had planned all along to make his winning move in the final seconds of the 195-pound title match at the 4A Region 2 tournament. Problem is, he didn't let his coaches in on the plan.
With the match's seconds ticking down from 30, the Trojans junior found himself tied 4-4 with Weld Central's Logan Longworth. That's when he made his move, turning Longworth and pinning him just inside the circle with eight seconds left on the clock.
Ramos-Vega understood why his coaches continued to yell at him for his defensive posture throughout the match since they had no idea he was hatching a plan before their eyes. Why didn't he tell them?
"They never asked," he chuckled after the match, breathless and still bleeding from his nose.
Ramos-Vega said his strategy was to keep Longworth up in the neutral position because he knew his opponent was dangerous on top. He also said he could tell by the way Longworth was standing that he would be able to find openings in his defense.
Boasting a 25-6 record and ranked ninth in Class 4A in Tim Yount's On The Mat rankings, Ramos-Vega is heading to the state tournament at the Pepsi Center next weekend for the second time in his short, two-year Trojans wrestling career.
Jaime Ramos-Vega won't be alone in Denver, as his sophomore brother Fernando Ramos-Vega will be going with him after pinning Golden's Brad Blackstock in 2 minutes, 7 seconds for third place at 170 pounds.
"It means a lot to me. Me and my brother put in a lot of work in over the summer with our coach," Ramos-Vega said. "Now my goal is to go and place at the state tournament."
Jaime Ramos-Vega's last-second championship pin was crucial to the Trojans finishing third in the team scoring with 135 points. The two bonus points for the pinfall had the Trojans in second place going into the final match. But Golden heavyweight Dakota Gulley won a 16-2 major decision over Windsor's Robert Bishop-Cotner that bumped Golden into second just one point ahead of the Trojans.
Windsor, which sent 12 of 14 through to the state tournament, took first with 284.5 points. Mead was sixth with 107.
Trojans head coach Adam Keiswetter said Jaime Ramos-Vega pinning third-ranked Longworth for the regional tournament surprised him as much as his secret strategy surprised the coaches at ringside.
"We were just hoping he qualified," Keiswetter said. "He did awesome and he pinned the guy in the finals. He had an awesome tournament, he's a regional champion. And for a second-year wrestler, that's incredible."
The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to the state tournament. Longmont's qualifiers also included junior Drake Greeott at 152. Dominating Mountain View's Jeremiah Clymer for a 16-4 major decision, Greeott placed third and will head to his second state tournament.
Trojans senior heavyweight Chris Palacios won a 4-1 decision over Jorge Guerra-Munoz from Greeley Central in the 285-pound third-place match. Ivan Wolf also qualified, losing 6-2 to Roosevelt's Spencer Urban in the 160-pound third-place match.
But Friday held a disappointing surprise for the Trojans' top wrestler. Forrest Wetterstrom, who is ranked third in the state at 182 pounds and placed sixth at 170 pounds at last year's state tournament, lost in the championship semifinals to second-ranked Cosme Martinez from Windsor. In the consolation semifinals, Wetterstrom led Roosevelt's Josh Semmler 7-5 before Semmler caught him and pinned him with only four seconds remaining. After winning the fifth-place match, Wetterstrom didn't get to challenge fourth-place finisher Semmler, since Semmler had already won head to head between the two.
"We had a good performance with a few exceptions," Keiswetter said. "The biggest thing that stands out in my mind is Forrest Wetterstrom. He goes out there and he's battling. He lost in the semis to the Windsor guy. This guy from Roosevelt, we've wrestled him twice and both times we're beating him with seven or eight seconds left and both times that guy's come up with a miracle and beat (Wetterstrom)."
Longmont's Eloy Valdez, who won a bounce-back match in the 126-pound fifth place match, also just missed qualifying. Valdez was not eligible to challenge Windsor's Matteo Ambriz for the fourth spot and final state berth because Ambriz beat Valdez earlier in the tournament.
Trojans junior Dutch Warner placed sixth, losing to Weld Central's Evan Paxton in the 220-pound fifth-place match.
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4A Region 2 tournament
At Frederick HS
Team scores -- Windsor 284.5, Golden 136, Longmont 135, Roosevelt 125, Berthoud 121, Mead 107, Mountain View 102, Greeley Central 100, Weld Central 89.5, Northridge 87, Erie 77, Fort Morgan 74, Niwot 62.5, Frederick 53, Silver Creek 38, Skyline 17, Skyview 3.
106 -- Dalton Robertson, Weld Central, maj. dec. Clay Robinson, Niwot, 14-0.
113 -- Joel Salomon, Windsor, pinned Sage Budd, Mead, 1:37.
120 -- Jonathan Lewis, Windsor, pinned Juan Lopez, Northridge, 0:59
126 -- Ian Wingstrom, Fort Morgan, dec. Jimmy Fate, Berthoud, 9-2.
132 -- Brandon Wetsch, Erie, pinned Alex Kingsley, Berthoud, 3:19.
138 -- Jace Lopez, Roosevelt, dec. Jacob Gerken, Fort Morgan, 9-5.
145 -- Chad Ellis, Berthoud, dec. Paris Salas, Golden, 7-3.
152 -- Kennen Lanteri, Windsor, pinned Devin Rothrock, Golden, 4:00.
160 -- Vinny Gonzales, Windsor, dec. Ladd Bunker, Erie, 8-5.
170 -- Joseph Keller, Windsor, dec. Gabe Alvarado, Mead, 4-1.
182 -- Kyle Couch, Mead, dec. Cosme Martinez, Windsor, 2-0.
195 -- Jaime Ramos-Vega, Longmont, pinned Logan Longworth, Weld Central, 5:52.
220 -- Jacob Winter, Windsor, pinned Jorge Cortez, Mead, 2:00.
285 -- Dakota Gulley, Golden, maj. dec. Robert Bishop-Cotner, Windsor, 16-2.
LOCAL THIRD-PLACE MATCHES
106 -- Josh Villa, Windsor, dec. Anthony Nieto, Erie, 8-2.
113 -- Jesse Ortiz, Frederick, dec. Brandon Rivas, Greeley Central, 2-1.
132 -- Joey Lambert, Niwot, dec. Conor Lococ, Windsor, 7-3.
145 -- William Schell, Erie, dec. Paul Robeson, Greeley Central, 9-4.
152 -- Drake Greeott, Longmont, maj. dec. Jeremiah Clymer, Mountain View, 16-4.
160 -- Spencer Urban, Roosevelt, dec. Ivan Wolf, Longmont, 6-2.
170 -- Fernando Ramos-Vega, Longmont, pinned Brad Blackstock, Golden, 2:07.
285 -- Jorge Guerra-Munoz, Greeley Central, dec. Chris Palacios, Longmont, 4-1.
LOCAL FIFTH-PLACE MATCHES
120 -- Romelo Salas, Golden, dec. Braden Richards, Skyline, 6-5.
126 -- Eloy Valdez, Longmont, dec. Dustin Hayden, Roosevelt, 8-1.
132 -- Cody Campos, Frederick, pinned Harley Bending, Roosevelt, 3:36.
138 -- Jessie Slepicka, Niwot, dec. Jesus Contreras, Skyline, 10-5.
160 -- Chico Trujillo, Greeley Central, dec. Mitch Webster, Silver Creek, 6-5.
170 -- Quinton Barber, Mountain View, maj. dec. Sam Oliver, Silver Creek, 13-5.
182 -- Josh Buchholz, Weld Central, dec. Forrest Wetterstrom, Longmont, 9-5.
195 -- Kagen Henning, Berthoud, pinned Kenny Jones, Silver Creek, 1:50.
220 -- Evan Paxton, Weld Central, dec. Dutch Warner, Longmont, 8-5.