LAFAYETTE — If Mead’s Jesse Ortiz was expecting his 2015 wrestling season to end with a medal, his performance at the annual Top of the Rockies tournament would show him how realistic that expectation was.
As is the case every year, this year’s Top of the Rockies was a veritable who’s who of the prep top wrestlers in Colorado and the surrounding states. In Ortiz’s case, if he could place at Top of the Rockies, Ortiz likely can place at the 3A state tournament.
On Saturday at Centaurus High School, the Mavericks’ senior 126-pounder took home a Top of the Rockies fifth-place medal.
“It’s a tough tournament so placing fifth was an accomplishment,” Ortiz said. “I knew there wasn’t going to be a tough kid at all in my bracket. This is my first year placing here so it’s great to see where I’m at and know what I need to get better at and just improve from there.”
Winning his first three decisions by three points or less, Ortiz (19-6) defeated opponents from Grand Island High School in Nebraska, Cheyenne Central High School in Wyoming and Rio Rancho High School in New Mexico. He reached the championship semifinals before losing a 7-1 decision to Brush’s Conrad Cole, a three-time state medalist and 2013 state champion.
In the consolation semifinals, Ortiz fell 9-4 to Dakota Macy, a two-time state placer from Fort Lupton High who ended up placing fourth on Saturday. Facing his fourth out-of-state opponent, Ivan Valenzuela from Franklin High School in Texas, Ortiz won the fifth-place match with a narrow 4-3 victory.
“I went for a double-leg early and I got it,” Ortiz said. “It was mostly a hand-fighting match on our feet after that and I ended up getting the one-point win.”
Two other Mead wrestlers won matches on Saturday.
In the first round of the 152-pound bracket, Mead sophomore Caleb Mendez pinned Grand Junction Central’s Robert Shenk in 1 minute, 19 seconds. In the first consolation round of the 220-pound bracket, Mavericks senior Jacoby Brace pinned Legacy’s Tannor Dressel in 2:35.
“This is obviously a tough tournament,” Mead head coach Ty Tatham said. “We had some kids who went 0-2 but their losses were against really, really tough kids. I mean, we had one kid whose second-round consolation match was against the number one ranked kid in his weight. We got a lot of tough matches and we competed well so that’s promising to see.”
Also for Mead, Daniel Vail (106), Jeremy Ashton (113), Jeremiah Cortez (120), Miguel Acosta (132), Cristian Cortez (138), John Stinson (145), Brennan McDermitt (160), Joey Garcia (170), Chris Rayl (170) and Derek Allen (285) finished the tournament with 0-2 records.
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Top of the Rockies
At Centaurus H.S.
Team scores — Pomona 163.5, Arvada West 162.5, Thompson Valley 138, Rio Rancho NM, 128.5, Rocky Mountain 123, Omaha North NE 108, Ponderosa 100, Grand Island NE 92, Legacy 90, Brush 89, Brighton 86, Pueblo County 80.5, Mountain Range 76, Holy Family 74, Fort Lupton 72.5, Chaparral 72, Cherry Creek 71, Broomfield 67, Franklin TX 67, Alamosa 66.5, Fort Morgan 63, Pueblo South 62.5, Cheyenne East WY 53, Palo Verde NV 52, Grandview 50, Scottsbluff NE 48, Roosevelt 40, Greeley West 29.5, Cheyenne Central WY 28, Grand Junction Central 27, Kelly Walsh WY 26, Mead 19, Centaurus 11.
106 — Hunter Matney, Ponderosa, dec. Isaiah De La Cerda, Alamosa, 1-0.
113 — Tomas Gutierrez, Pomona, dec. Grant Willits, Pueblo County, 6-4 (OT).
120 — Travis Torres, Pomona, pinned Keegan Hessler, Scottsbluff (NE), 3:01.
126 — Ryan Deakin, Legacy, dec. Conrad Cole, Brush, 7-1.
132 — Matt Finesilver, Cherry Creek, dec. Jason Romero, Pomona, 8-2.
138 — Julian Prieto, Holy Family, dec. Collin Williams, Thompson Valley, 5-3.
145 — Orlando Gutierrez, Rio Rancho (NM), dec. Isaac Naro, Pueblo South, 3-1.
152 — Payton Tawater, Arvada West, dec. Ben Hewson, Thompson Valley, 8-3.
160 — Miguel Barreras, Rio Rancho (NM), dec. Ty Jackson, Omaha North (NE), 7-1.
170 — Billy Thompson, Grand Island (NE), dec. Taylor Bergquist, Arvada West, 3-1.
182 — Cameron Gonzales, Pomona, dec. Konnor Schmidt, Rocky Mountain, 6-4.
195 — Tevis Bartlett, Cheyenne East (WY), pinned Alex Jimenez, Franklin (TX), 4:32.
220 — Devin Rothrock, Arvada West, pinned Jacob Ornelas, Fort Lupton, 0:25.
285 — Dane Drimmer, Chaparral, dec. DeValon Whitcomb, Omaha North (NE), 4-2.
Local third-place matches
126 — Darek Huff, Broomfield, maj. dec. Dakota Lacy, Fort Lupton, 9-0.
145 — Danny Murphy, Rocky Mountain, maj. dec. Joseph Prieto, Holy Family, 11-2.
182 — Matt Hebel, Legacy, dec. Tavien DeBerry-Pope, Omaha North (NE), 5-0.
Local fifth-place matches
113 — Mogan Fogg, Thompson Valley, dec. Brandon Tyson, Broomfield, 5-2.
126 — Jesse Ortiz, Mead, dec. Ivan Valenzuela, Franklin (TX), 4-3.
145 — Matt Berg, Thompson Valley, maj. dec. Randall Baker, Broomfield, 11-0.
285 — Willy Clements, Holy Family, dec. Joe Carwin, Brush, 8-4.