Julian Prieto started the Top of the Rockies on a peak, but finished in a valley.
The Holy Family sophomore had to settle for a sixth-place finish in the prestigious tournament, after rough run in the second day. The 120-pounder had three consecutive losses to finish his first trip through the tournament, a run that did little to please the wrestler. But it did also give him an idea of what he needs to do to put together a postseason run.
“Personally, I know I have to work on my shots ” Prieto said.
Prieto’s rocky finale began when he came within points of making the multi-state invitational’s championship. But Ladigo Williams was able to escape the semifinals with a 5-3 decision, despite the Tiger coming within a half nelson of scoring the decisive points.
Even though missing a run at the title stung, Prieto still accomplished plenty at the tournament. The most noteworthy was delivering the defending Class 3A state champion his first loss of the season. Prieto outlasted Levi Maes, beating the Sheridan wrestler 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
“It shows we have potential at state,” he said.
Joseph Prieto — Julian’s twin brother — also finished sixth, but was knocked to the consolation brackets in the 126-pound quarterfinals.
The Tigers advanced four wrestlers to Saturday, a move Joe Domko confesses built the hope his team would nab a finals spot. But even with the up-and-coming 3A team missing a title, the coach believes his wrestlers accomplished plenty at the invitational.
“The kids wrestled very competitive,” the Holy Family coach said. “To have two kids make it on the podium is a nice representation.”
Legacy nabs two places at Top of the Rockies
Losing his final match of the Top of the Rockies, Ryan Deakin did not come up with the finish he was hunting after. But the Legacy freshman believed he still got something out of earning fourth place at Saturday’s top-notch tournament.
“This is all practice for state,” the 106-pounder said. “After this, I know I can’t have any let-down matches at state and have to wrestle consistently throughout the day.”
Deakin was one of two placers for the Lightning at the multi-state invitational. Connor Casady earned fifth-place at the event, but came close to making the 160-pound finals. The senior just missed advancing to the title bout after Pomona’s Archie Colgan was escaped the semis with a 3-1 win.
Legacy had the potential to have one more placer, but Skylar McWee withdrew in Friday’s second round. Legacy Mike Thompson sent his 220-pounder home before facing Broomfield’s Connor Eakes, since the senior was fighting a nasty bout of the flu.
“It was tough, because he was looking forward to this tournament,” Thompson said. “But we have regionals and state to worry about.”
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.