BOULDER — Let the rest of the state take notice: Broomfield’s wrestling team is good.
The defending Class 4A champs obliterated the field on Saturday at Fairview’s Mike Stanley Invitational, winning eight individual titles and placing 10 en route to scoring 208.5 points for the team title.
“Not a bad day, not a bad day at all. It was a good start anyway,” said new coach Pat DeCamillis, who will take his team to the prestigious Ironman Championships next weekend in Ohio. “I don’t think you can ever quite warm up for what is coming next weekend, but it is good to get some wrestling in and some matches under your belt.”
It was another newcomer to the Eagles roster, Brandon Tyson, that got the ball rolling for Broomfield. The 113-pounder, who finished runner-up at the same weight last season as a freshman at Spaulding High in Vermont, rode the momentum of a big semifinal win to a 4-2 victory in the final over Niwot’s Tommy Stager.
Tyson, whose father wrestled for Broomfield back in his day, trailed 5-0 in the second period against Cheyenne Central’s Nigel Lopez, and was down 5-4 when he got Lopez on his back and finished the match at the 4:46 mark.
“I knew since he was seeded first that he was going to be one of my harder matches, but after getting down 5-0 I just decided to keep going, and he might have got a little gassed,” Tyson said. “(Stager) didn’t gas quite as much and that was a real good match.”
After James Wells handled Cheyenne Central’s Jake Seidel 11-3 at 120 pounds, it was Darek Huff’s turn at 126 and the junior didn’t disappoint.
Huff, who had recorded three pins on his way to the final against Central’s Ryder Jones, was simply too quick for his Wyoming foe and scored a 17-2 technical fall.
“This was all just to get ready for Ironman, so I really just wanted to come out and work my stuff,” said Huff, who placed at 106 pounds last season.
Said DeCamillis of Huff’s performance: “Technically, he is an amazing kid on the mat. He’s a great technical wrestler, he’s a tough wrestler as well, but technically he is very sound.”
Broomfield senior Phil Downing, who will be aiming for his fourth state title in February at the Pepsi Center, had little trouble in getting to the top of the podium. The usually mild-mannered Downing, who really doesn’t show a ton of emotion, was noticeably irritated after his 17-1 technical fall of Niwot’s Jessie Slepicka.
“I feel like they try to not wrestle as hard and they try to stall out so that the score is closer,” said Downing, who went 2-2 last year in Ohio. “It pisses me off and makes me want to work harder and try to get the pin in the first round and not waste all that extra time.”
Other winners for Broomfield included Jared Albo at 152 pounds, Zach Stodden at 182 (doing so in a four-man round robin format), Luke McAninich at 195 and Austyn Harris wrapped things up at heavyweight. Harris made quick work of Denver South’s Shamil Baytarov, pinning the much heavier Rebels grappler in 54 seconds.
“You have to take advantage of every opportunity you have and if you get them on their back, you don’t want them to get back up,” Harris said, “especially heavyweight, because they can pull off a throw in the last second and get you. Especially if you’re small.
The host Knights advanced two wrestlers to the finals and had a chance for a championship with junior Cliff Lester at 132 pounds. Lester led Cheyenne Central’s Nathan Parris 3-2 with under 10 seconds left, but was unable to hang on and Parris maneuvered himself to score the final two points as time ran out. Fairview coach Jim Lefebvre debated with officials whether the final move was made in time, but to no avail.
“I was definitely getting tired. It’s early in the season and I’ve been working hard, but it is hard to keep going all day,” Lester said. “It was a matter of keeping my mental game up for 10 more seconds and I just wasn’t able to do it.”
Said Lefebvre: “It was a close call that didn’t go our way, but it wasn’t a bad call. The trick is that the next time you get out there, you’ve got to do a little bit more at the end to make sure you close the deal. I thought we had a champ, but I’ll take a runner-up.”
Senior Melvin Gutierrez followed at 136 pounds and drew Wyoming’s three-time state champion Bryce Meredith in the final. Meredith, who was voted by the coaches as the meets most outstanding wrestler, finished of Gutierrez in 1:42, but in defeat he learned a ton.
“You get a feel for how those guys wrestle and in the future, when you do face guys like that, you know what you are going up against,” said Gutierrez, who admitted he was a shocked by Meredith’s strength. “He’s a three-time state champ, going for four and if I keep at it, I can probably be a state champ this year. Keep my chest out and my head up.”
The only other Fairview wrestler in the final session was junior Preston Cates, who lost 4-0 to Hinkley’s Rafael Garibay in the third-place match at 120 pounds.
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Mike Stanley Invitational
At Fairview HS
Team scores — Broomfield 208.5, Cheyenne Central 138, Hinkley 131, Niwot 108, Lyons 81, Fairview 79, Rock Canyon 61, Overland 58, Denver West 51.5, Skyline 32, Denver South 31, Denver North 25, Silver Creek 22, Evergreen 0.
106 — Ben Rhoton, Hinkley dec. Daniel Cuc-Capota, Overland, 11-5; 113 — Brandon Tyson, Broomfield, dec. Tommy Stager, Niwot, 4-2; 120 — James Wells, Broomfield maj. dec. Jake Seidel, Cheyenne Central, 11-3; 126 — Darek Huff, Broomfield, tech. Fall Ryder Jones, Cheyenne Central, 17-2.
132 — Nathan Parris, Cheyenne Central, def. Cliff Lester, Fairview, 4-3; 138 — Bryce Meredith, Cheyenne Central, pinned Melvin Gutierrez, Fairview, 1:42; 145 — Joey Lambert, Niwot, dec. Jesus Contreras, Skyline, 10-4; 152 — Jared Albo, Broomfield, tech. Fall Matthew Strope, Niwot, 18-3; 160 — Phil Downing, Broomfield, tech. Fall Jessie Slepicka, Niwot, 17-1.
170 — Jon Hickman, Lyons, pinned Zach Smith, Rock Canyon, 1:10; 182 — Zach Stodden, Broomfield, tech. fall Cito Balsells, Fairview, 18-3; 195 — Luke McAninich, Broomfield, dec. Steven Feltenberger, Skyline, 9-5; 220 — Max Carbajal, Hinkley, pinned Luis Avila, Denver West, 1:12; 285 — Austyn Harris, Broomfield, pinned Shamil Baytarov, Denver South, :54.
106 — Will Hickman, Lyons, pinned Victor Plasencio, Denve West, 1:23; 113 — Nigel Lopez, Cheyenne Central, pinned Gideon Greer, Hinkley, 1:19; 120 — Rafael Garibay, Hinkley, dec. Preston Cates, Fairview, 4-0; 126 — Austin Ivan, Niwot, dec. Kyle Love, Rock Canyon, 9-7.
132 — Carlos Silva, Overland, dec. Steve Rodriguez, Denver North, 10-3; 138 — Connor Ventura, Broomfield, dec. Kanyon Raper, Lyons, 7-5; 145 — Randall Baker, Broomfield, pinned Trevor Moore, Hinkley, 2:53; 152 — Joe Baca, Cheyenne Central, pinned Seth Nance, Hinkley, 2:39; 160 — Tristan Harper, Hinkley, pinned CJ Evans, Silver Creek, 2:59.
170 — Bryce Lundberg, Cheyenne Central, dec. Dyrian Hallcy, Denver South, 12-7; 182 — Richard Davis, Rock Canyon, pinned Colton Borm, Cheyenne Central, 5:16; 195 — Kenny Jones, Silver Creek, pined Nate Ewan, Rock Canyon, 2:45; 220 — Adrian Garcia, Overland, pinned Lucas Hiebert, Lyons, 2:52; 285 — Brandon Slepicka, Niwot, pinned Aron Vasquez, Lyons, :16.