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Wrestling: Skylar McWee takes spotlight for Legacy at Region 4 tournament

BROOMFIELD — Skylar McWee has had close shaves against Mountain Range. But Saturday, the Legacy wrestler cut what has been some of his toughest competition off at the knees.

The 10th-ranked Lighting 220-pounder doled out a 4-3 loss to Matt Dreiling, scoring the deciding points in the waning moments of the match. McWee took the fourth-ranked Mustang down with 34 seconds left, then deftly maneuvered on top until the clock ran out.

The win earned McWee a Class 5A Region 4 title, but the match was a bigger boost given his history with Dreiling.

“He beat me by two points in the last 10 seconds of our last match,” the Legacy wrestler said. “But I came in this morning knowing I was going to beat him.”

McWee highlighted what was otherwise a rocky trip for Legacy through the finals. The top-placing local team — finishing fifth with 140 points — lost three championship matches before the heavyweight collected his title.

Connor Casady and Colin Randall had the toughest runs in the finals. The third-ranked Casady fell in a 13-0 major decision to No. 2 Devin Dunnum of Fort Collins. And Randall was pinned in 43 second by fourth-ranked Alec Wyatt of Prairie View.

The falter that shocked the Lightning, however, was second-ranked Jesse Carlson’s.

The defending 152-pound state champion lost an 8-4 decision to Loveland’s No. 3 Sam Kremeier in the pair’s fourth meeting of the season. But after losing to Carlson the past three times, the Indian believed he had learned what he needed to do to collect a win.

“I’ve worked on the little things since we last met, my set-ups and shots,” Kremeier said. “That and the mental part of my game, believing in myself, even if I’m down.”

Monarch sent two wrestlers to state on the way to finishing 10th with 76 points.

Michael Hattel finished third at the tournament with a solid showing against Thornton’s 220-pounder. The Coyote was too agile for Allen LeBaron, scoring a take down and reverse to beat the Trojan 4-0. But it was Christian Valentine who came up with Monarch biggest win of the evening.

The fourth-ranked 113-pounder beat No. 6 Andre Aragon in an 8-1 decision. Valentine caught Centaurus’ only state qualifier at the end of the second period to break the match opening, taking Aragon down and nearly pinning him.

“It was a dogfight (on the take down),” Valentine said. “I finally managed to get my hip in and that made the difference.”

Despite the finals falters Legacy ended up in good position with qualifications, finishing the day with six wrestlers earning berths to the Feb. 16-18, 5A state championship at Denver’s Pepsi Center.

Monarch had one other opportunity to qualify for state, but Gus Sawicki lost a heartbreaker in his wrestle-back. The 170-pounder rallied hard at the end, but it was not enough to overcome an 11-6 decision at the hands of Loveland’s Cody Long.

“It was a tough way to end for Gus,” Monarch coach Ezra Paddock said. “He had five ranked kids in his bracket.”

Fairview — which finished 13th with 58 points — also lost its wrestle-back match. Josh Weinstein got pinned in 2:11 by Ronnie Kahler of Mountain Range. But the Knights have a shot to score at the state tournament, with the team’s biggest wrestler qualifying for state.

Conner McGraw got pinned in 1:45 by Jorge Rodriguez of Mountain in the 285-pound finals. But the loss hardly weighed on the Knight, who was too pumped up about his first state berth.

“It’s pretty cool,” McGraw said. “I’m just go down there and wrestle my hardest.”


Class 5A Region 4 Tournament

Team scores — Ponderosa 191, Mountain Range 188.5, Fort Collins 158, Poudre 150, Legacy 140, Prairie View 107, Loveland 103, Horizon 90, Thornton 87.5, Monarch 76, Thomas Jefferson 60.5, Rangeview 59.5, Fairview 58, Aurora Central 56.5, Northglenn 46, Centaurus 28.5.

Championship matches — 106: Anthony Cortez, Horizon dec. Maurisio Garcia, Northglenn 10-8. 113 — Christian Valentine, Monarch dec. Andre Aragon, Centaurus 8-1. 120 — Ricky Becker, Prairie View dec. Riley Thomas, Fort Collins 9-2. 126 — Anthony Apodaca, Mountain Range dec. James Rothwell, Prairie View 6-4. 132 — Alec Wyatt, Prairie View fall Colin Randall, Legacy :43. 138 — Cory Mitze, Mountain Range Maj. dec. Luis Bejerano, Prairie View, 16-2. 145 — Jordan Henrickson, Loveland Maj. dec. Randy Boerner, Mountain Range 12-4. 152 — Sam Kremeier, Loveland dec. Jesse Carlson, Legacy 8-4. 160 — Devin Dunnum, Fort Collins Maj. dec. Connor Casady, Legacy 13-0. 170 — Thad Gallegos, Ponderosa dec. David Chitwood, Horizon 8-5. 182 — Kutter Corley, Poudre dec Corry Williams, Ponderosa 2-1. 195 — Nathaniel Guerrero, Thornton dec. Roman Marquez, Poudre 9-4. 220 — Skylar McWee, Legacy dec. Matt Dreiling, Mountain Range 4-3. 285 — Jorge Rodriguez, Mountain Range fall Connor McGraw 1:45.

Local third-place matches: 170 — Riley McConnell, Fort Collins dec Gus Sawicki, Monarch 6-4. 182 — Dalton Weis, Loveland fall Jeremy Garner, Legacy 1:27. 195 — Connor Crane, Ponderosa fall David Hebel, Legacy 2:03. 220 — Michael Hattel, Monarch dec. Allen LeBaron, Thornton 4-0.

Local fifth-place matches: 120 — Josh Weinstein, Fairview forfeit Mason Marsh, Poudre. 152 — Emery Lee, Poudre dec. Joe Tucker, Monarch 5-1. 182 — Kevin Lohndorf, Fairview dec. Victor Olivas, Thornton 7-2.

Local wrestle-backs: 120 — Ronnie Kahler, Mountain Range fall Josh Weinstein, Fairview 2:11. 170 — Colby Long, Loveland dec. Gus Sawicki, Monarch 11-6. 195 — David Hebel, Legacy fall Brandon Nofsinger, Rangeview 1:30.

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