FREDERICK — Jeremy Ashton learned his lesson in his 132-pound semifinal match against Windsor freshman Cody Eaton.
He was in trouble and at one point was on his back, staring up the Frederick High School gymnasium ceiling.
"I gave up too many points in the beginning and my mental state wasn't as good usual," Ashton said. "But I realized that (Eaton) was no joke and that I really needed to step up my game and get to it."
The Mavericks junior recovered and went on to win that match 9-6 to set up a Class 4A Region 2 championship match against Greeley Central's Zeke Alirez.
With a spot already secured at next week's state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Ashton wrestled with confidence and cruised to a regional title with a 15-4 major decision.
"I feel a lot stronger and just have a whole lot better feeling after this," said Ashton, a state runner-up at 3A 126 pounds to Jefferson's Kyle Cisneros last season. "My conditioning, my technique and my strength are all there."
Ashton, along with Caleb Mendez at 152 pounds were both regional champs for a Mavericks team that will ultimately send six wrestlers to state.
"The kids have wrestled well," said Mead coach Ty Tatham, whose team finished fifth overall with 147 points. "In this region, which is pretty tough, to get two champs is awesome."
Mendez, whose route to the finals included an 18-second pin in the quarterfinals, had very little trouble with Greeley Central's Justus Strand, winning 6-0 on the strength of takedowns in the first and second period and two near-fall points.
"I haven't had a full year yet and to finally be on top in my senior year, feels pretty good," said Mendez, who will likely have to go through Pueblo County's Hunter Willits (going for a fourth title) next week if he wants to be on top of the podium in Denver. "There are a lot of tough kids there, so it is just a matter of taking it one match at a time."
Brennan McDermott (170), Joey Garcia (182) and Derrick Allen (220) all finished fourth at their respective weights to qualify. The most pleasant surprise for the Mavericks was 160-pounder Gino Musick.
The senior entered the tournament with a 10-16 record made it to the fifth-place match, where he was awarded a victory via injury default to set up a wrestleback against Thompson Valley's Masenn Lewis. He took care of business 15-4.
"We thought he had a chance to be there," Tatham said.
Niwot's top-ranked 145-pound senior Tommy Stager faced Mountain View's Erik Contreras for the fourth time this season and for the third time came out on top, this time 7-3. The victory was Stager's fourth regional crown and 171st career victory.
That 171 total was thought to set the state record, but upon further review, Cisneros currently holds a two match lead, something that Stager isn't too disappointed about.
"Nothing is set in stone yet and I care more about my performance at state next week than I do here," Stager said. "With that being said, it is nice to have the bracket at state kind of laid out in my advantage. This regional win is going to seed me well and give me a little bit of a head start."
Stager will be joined at state by first year wrestler Jose Lopez. The 285-pound junior finished fourth.
Frederick's Jake Longstreth ended a seven-year regional drought for the Warriors. His pinfall victory at 195 pounds over Windsor's Josh Grasmick was the first regional title for a Frederick wrestler since current Warriors assistant Tylar Parker won one in 2010 at 140 pounds.
"This just shows me that I am peaking at the right time," Longstreth said, "And I've been trying to gradually better myself as much as possible this whole season."
Two Silver Creek wrestlers, Sawyer Novara (120) and Jacob Williams (285), reached the finals but both came up just short in their bid for a regional crown.
Novara was pinned by Windsor's unbeaten Dominick Serrano. Williams lost a tight 6-5 decision to the Wizards' Victor Bravo.
CLASS 4A REGION 2
Team scores — Windsor 237.5, Greeley Central 215, Thompson Valley 189.5, Mountain View 175, Mead 147, Fort Morgan 121.5, Roosevelt 100.5, Silver Creek 77.5, Niwot 75.5, Frederick 56, Thomas Jefferson 39, Northridge 38, John F. Kennedy 36.5, George Washington 20.
106 — Airiel Siegel, Thompson Valley dec. Malachi Contreras, Mountain View, 5-2.
113 — Josh Nira, Greeley Central won by forfeit over Will Vombaur, Windsor.
120 — Dominick Serrano, Windsor pinned Sawyer Novara, Silver Creek, 4:22.
126 — Andrew Alirez, Greeley Central tech fall Bo Slaymaker, Roosevelt, 23-8 (4:20).
132 — Jeremy Ashton, Mead major dec. Zeke Alirez, Greeley Central, 11-3.
138 — Chris Sandoval, Windsor pinned Tony Ulaszek, Greeley Central, 5:10.
145 — Tommy Stager, Niwot dec. Erik Contreras, Mountain View, 7-3.
152 — Caleb Mendez, Mead dec. Justus Strand, Greeley Central, 6-0.
160 — Gage Trusty, Windsor pinned Jullian Herrera, John F. Kennedy, 2:29.
170 — Andrue Rojas, Greeley Central pinned Caleb Willis, Windsor, 3:02.
182 — Dylan McBride, Fort Morgan dec. Braden Baker, Mountain View, 7-3.
195 — jake Longstreth, Frederick pinned Josh Grasmick, Windsor, 2:26.
220 — Martin Rodriguez, Mountain View pinned Thomas Garnica, Thomas Jefferson, 4:53.
285 — Victor Bravo, Windsor dec. Jacob Williams, Silver Creek, 6-5.
LOCAL THIRD-PLACE MATCHES
170 — Semaj Spencer, Mountain View dec. Brennan McDermitt, Mead, 8-4.
182 — Gerardo Arellano, Greeley Central dec. Joey Garcia, Mead, 6-1 (OT).
220 — Victor Cabral, Fort Morgan pinned Derrick Allen, Mead, 1:16.
285 — Alex Yeardon, Greeley Central pinned Jose Lopez, Niwot, 2:36.
LOCAL FIFTH-PLACE MATCHES
106 — Angel Rios, Roosevelt dec. Emilio Chavez, Mead, 8-3.
113 — Ethan Hays, Roosevelt pinned Cruz Jimenez, Frederick, 2:54.
126 — Leo Luna, Fort Morgan dec. Ethan Trevino, Mead, 3-2.
132 — Alex Gazdik, Niwot won by injury default over Cody Eaton, Windsor.
138 — Tyler Harshmann, Mountain View pinned Brandon Barton, Niwot, 1:34.
152 — Tanner Eshleman, Silver Creek pinned Angus Copeland, Roosevelt, :38.
160 — Gino Musick, Mead won by injury default over Fernando Rodriguez, Northridge.
170 — Shawn Smith, Silver Creek dec. Caleb Burton, Thompson Valley, 7-6.
182 — Ezekiel Quattlebaum, George Washington, dec. Tyler Young, Silver Creek, 8-6.
195 — Joseph Montoya, Mountain View pinned Evan Hansen, Mead, 2:59.
220 — Jordan Gonzales, Thompson Valley pinned Michael Castro, Frederick, 1:49.
285 — Luis Miramontes, Mead pinned Tony Medalino, Northridge, 4:59.
132 — Kase Givens, Fort Morgan dec. Alex Gazdik, Niwot, 5-3 (OT).
160 — Gino Musick, Mead major dec. Masenn Lewis, Thompson Valley, 15-4.