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Wrestling: Building process has been swift for Mead Mavericks

Mead wrestling coach Ty Tatham never puts too much stock in team scores at regional wrestling.

The goal there, of course, is to qualify as many individuals for state as possible. There are no style points for finishing highly as a team.

But even Tatham couldn’t help but get a little excited about the Mavericks’ runner-up performance last weekend at the 3A Region 2 meet at Weld Central High School.

With four teams ranked among the 3A’s 10 best attending the meet, Tatham figured a fifth-place mark would be good for his team.

“(Finishing second) was a surprise,” Tatham said Wednesday. “I think to be honest with you it surprised the kids, too.”

The Mavericks qualified seven wrestlers — half their lineup — for state, which begins today for all classifications at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

The feat is particularly impressive given that the school just opened two years ago. The Mavericks qualified no one for state in 2010 before breaking through with five qualifiers last year.

The most wrestlers Tatham had ever qualified for state in one season in 14 years at Longmont High was six, he said Wednesday. The coach said there was no one reason for MHS’ quick rise. Good kids, hard work, good leadership, and a little luck all have contributed.

“I think there are a lot of people who have worked really hard to make this a good school in a short amount of time,” Tatham said.

Sophomore Kyle Couch, 32-5 at 152 pounds, leads MHS into action today after placing third at state a year ago at 145. Returning state qualifiers Greg Rademacher (170, 37-4) and Nick Testroet (285, 37-5) also figure to do well.

Austin Van Hooker (120), Kyle McNellis (138), Ian Stinson (145) and Nick Baldwin (160) are the other qualifiers, and Tatham isn’t letting any of them get too satisfied about the team’s milestone achievement.

“It feels pretty good,” the coach said of notching seven qualifiers. “We don’t want to feel too good though because there’s another tournament. Qualifying’s not good enough.”

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