BROOMFIELD -- Within the scope of Broomfield wrestling history, the only wrestler Phil Downing has left to surpass is himself.
Downing won the 145-pound state championship with a 10-1 major decision over Discovery Canyon's Tyler Oberg in February. For becoming Colorado's 90th wrestler all-time to win three state titles, Downing has been named the BoCoPreps.com Wrestler of the Year.
Downing has reached each plateau presented to him. Now, he's setting his own.
"I just think I need to prepare myself more than I did this last year," Downing said. "I just want to wrestle year-round and be the best. Next year, I want to pin my kid in the finals."
In his three state title matches, Downing has won twice by pinfall and most recently by major decision. If he wins a fourth state title in his senior season, however he does it, Downing will become only the 17th wrestler in Colorado history to accomplish the feat.
But for this offseason, Downing is focused on placing at national tournaments like the July Junior Asics/Vaughn Junior & Cadet National Championships and earning his All-American status again.
Downing said he's added weightlifting, running and extra mat time to his offseason regimen. He also is likely to move up to 152 pounds, or possibly 160, next season.
Whatever weight he ends up at, Downing said he feels the Eagles can win another team title.
"I think we worked a lot harder," Downing said. "If kids stick with it and build on it, we're gonna get way better and we'll dominate again next year."
The Eagles will graduate two-time state champion Drew Romero and placer Connor Eakes. But they return eight of their 11 state qualifiers, including six placers, next season. Eagles head coach Joe Pereira said they'll bring back around 110 state tournament team points.
Once again, the Eagles will follow where Downing leads them.
"People ask, 'Why is he a three-timer, what is it about him,'" Pereira said. "He has a lot of good wrestling skills and an unbelievable will to win. But he dedicates himself to wrestling more than any other kid. That's why he's so good."
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