ARVADA — An early misstep in the the Arvada West Invitational finals Saturday denied Jesse Carlson a tournament title for only the second time this season.
The Legacy top-ranked 152-pounder lost a 7-4 decision to No. 4 Archie Colgan, with the Pomona wrestler taking the lead in the first minute of the match. The Panther took Carlson down and put him on his back for a near fall to clip off five points in the blink of an eye.
The rest of the match, Legacy’s defending state champion was left playing catchup.
“That three points could have been the match, if I didn’t get thrown under him,” Carlson said. “But really the match could have gone a bunch of different ways.”
The senior was not alone in his woes in his team’s ninth-place finish. All of the Lightning had a rough run in placing matches.
While fourth-ranked Class 4A Thompson Valley was racing to the tournament’s title with 155 points, Legacy was getting skunked on three tries to win placing matches. The team lost both its championship finals and ceded its third place match due to tournament rules.
A wrestler could wrestle in the third-place match if they had five matches or fewer. Legacy’s fifth-ranked 160-pounder Conner Casady had six when he was slated to face Brighton’s No. 10 Ryan Siert, forcing the Legacy wrestler to forfeit.
Carlson came the closest to picking up a win for the Lightning, but was just thwarted by Colgan. The Legacy wrestler just missed on taking the Panther down on three occasions to end the second and start the third. And when Carlson did pick up his first takedown of the evening, he could not get the stoutly built Cogan flipped to his back.
“I just couldn’t get it on him,” Carlson said. “It’s back to the drawing board I guess.”
Skyler McWee had one of the toughest losses of the evening, with Legacy’s 220-pound falling to one of 5A’s top wrestlers. Greeley West’s third-ranked Austin Waterman caught and threw McWee on his back for a pin in 27 seconds.
“I went for a single and left my arm up,” the junior said. “It’s a mistake I can correct.”
The Arvada West Invitational had plenty of firepower filling its brackets, missing only two of 5A’s top-10 teams. The tournament also kicks off a brutal three weeks for Legacy.
The team follows Friday and Saturday with what is touted as the toughest tournament in the state, the Centaurus-based Top of the Rockies. Then the following Saturday (Jan. 28) the Lightning travel to rival and fifth-ranked Mountain Range for the Front Range League Championships.
“This will let the kids know what level they’re at and what they need to work on before state,” Legacy coach Mike Thompson said.
Arvada West Invitational
At Arvada West HS
Team scores — Thompson Valley 155.5; Pomona, 136.5; Ponderosa 128.5; Fountain Fort Carson 112; Grand Junction 107.5; Rocky Mountain 98; Grand Junction Central 87.5; Coronado 80; Legacy 76.5; Brighton 74.5; Bear Creek 72.5; Arvada West 72; Greeley West 65; Grandview 45.5; Chaparral 40; Heritage 13.
106 — Payton Tawater, Arvada West dec. Raul Ortega, Brighton 7-2.
113 — Josh Rosales, Pomona dec. Bennie Pachello, Arvada West 2-1.
120 — P.T. Garcia, Bear Creek pinned Jacob Trujillo, Grand Junction 3:30.
126 — Emilio Martinez, Greeley West M-Dec Will Martinez, Ponderosa 8-0.
132 — Raymond Robeldo, Pomona dec. Devan Cruz, Coronado 3-1 OT.
138 — Torry Williams, Ponderosa dec. Dylon Thompson Grand Junction 6-5.
145 — Isaiah Rosales, Pomona M-Dec. Anthony Feller, Grand Junction Central 18-5.
152 — Archie Colgan, Pomona dec. Jesse Carlson, Legacy 7-4.
160 — Jessie Hoffschneider, Grand Junction pinned Joe Chavez, Thompson Valley 3:30.
170 — Jacob Kelly, Bear Creek pinned Thad Gallegos, Ponderosa 3:48.
182 — Josh Schoenberger, Fountain Fort Carson M-Dec. Cameron McCrimmon, Thompson Valley 18-7.
195 — Cody Anderson, Thompson Valley dec. Connor Crane, Ponderosa 3-1.
220 — Austin Waterman, Greely West pinned Skylar McWee, Legacy :27.
285 — Tony Martinez, Rocky Mountain pinned Dane Drimer, Chaparral :51.