DENVER — Broomfield wrestler Tyler Carpenter had the quickest pin in the first rounds of the state tournament on Thursday, needing only six seconds to pin Montrose's Colten Brueggeman.
The trend continued on Friday with two first-round pins to put him in the finals Saturday night.
"(My confidence) is really high for sure," Carpenter said.
That confidence comes as he is starting to feel fully healed from a broken ankle suffered a few months ago. He had surgery one month before the season and began rehabbing it, working to get to full strength during the season.
Progress was seen during the season with his ankle and his performance. He took fifth at the Top of the Rockies and looked to be heading over the hill to full strength.
In Denver, he's proven to be the man to beat for the 4A heavyweight title.
"Every day I get taped by my trainer and I love him for that," Carpenter said. "Having that support and getting better and more confident in it has helped me out."
The go-to move for Carpenter has been a standing headlock used to trip or flip his opponents to their backs. When the move works, the pin comes immediately after. In three matches at state, Carpenter has wrestled for 1 minute, 32 seconds total.
Carpenter will be joined by teammate Darren Green in the finals. The top seed in the 138-pound bracket, Green was in control versus Ben Nagel of Coronado to get the 7-2 decision win in their semifinal match.
"Darren is going to be a four-time state placer for sure," Carpenter said. "He's an animal. I think it's really good for Broomfield. We're going to need our support."
Bryant Walker, the other semifinalist for Broomfield, lost by pin in the third period at 195 and moves to the consolation semifinals.
By getting two in the finals, Broomfield moved up to fourth place in the 4A standings entering the second consolation round with 65 points and are in position for a top-five team finish.
Longmont, Lyons qualify one each
Drake Engelking moved to within one win of repeating as a state champion for the Longmont Trojans on Friday night.
The senior pushed the pace early at 170 pounds to lead 2-0 after the first period. A reversal in the second helped him secure the pin at the 3:11 mark. His run to the state championship has been as impressive with a 31-second pin in the first round and a technical fall in the quarterfinals as well.
Another school getting one of two wrestlers into the finals was Lyons with Oran Huff. The sophomore went to a decision for the first time this state tournament in the semifinals — hanging on against Zach Tittle of Highland, 6-4, to advance.
Erie's Rudy Lopez showed he could hang with three-time state champion Brendon Garcia of Pueblo County, falling by decision 7-4. Karson Bean lost by decision 4-3 to Rocky Ford for Lyons, Brayden Engelking lost a 12-6 decision at 152 for Longmont, Hunter Branson lost to Eaton at 170 for Holy Family and Ricky Childers was pinned with one second to spare in the first period at 285 for Skyline.
Each of those wrestlers will be able to fight back for a possible third place finish with a good Saturday performance.