WINDSOR — Niwot High’s Tommy Stager was the only freshman to take the 4A 113-pound podium at last year’s wrestling state championships. Since day one of this season, he’s been out to top his sixth-place finish from 2014.
No longer a rookie and ranked third in 4A at 120 pounds by Tim Yount’s On the Mat rankings, Stager knew his next-level run would have to begin well before he reached the bright lights and noise of the Pepsi Center on Thursday. To get where he wants to go, Stager needed a good seed coming out of the 4A Region 3 tournament.
To that end, Stager (41-8) pinned Greeley Central’s Miguel Manuel in 4 minutes, 28 seconds during the 120-pound champion match to win the regional title on Saturday at Windsor High School.
“The big reason regionals is important is because it seeds you for state and how to finish the year really does make a big difference at state,” Stager said. “Now that I’m a regional champion, I’ll face someone who placed fourth at another region in the first round at state and that should, theoretically, be an easier match. I honestly think I have a chance to win state and this puts me in a better position to advance.”
With the top four placers in each weight division qualifying for state, Saturday’s placing matches with littered with BoCoPreps.com wrestlers hoping to crack the top 16.
Silver Creek’s sixth-ranked sophomore 106-pounder Sawyer Novara (31-6) faced fifth-ranked Zeke Alirez from Greeley Central in the championship match. Despite losing 10-1, Novara was still pleased to be going to state for the first time as a regional runner-up.
“State eluded me last year and I’m proud of what I did today,” Novara said. “I wish I could have gotten first so I’d have a better place in the bracket but whatever comes out next week, I’ll be able to handle whatever they throw at me.”
Also for Silver Creek, senior Mitch Webster (27-4), who is ranked fourth in 4A at 220, lost 10-4 in the championship match to Fort Morgan’s Toby McBride. Junior 195-pounder Kenny Jones (31-7) took third, pinning Windsor’s Josh Grasmick in 1:49.
Longmont’s Fernando Ramos-Vega, who didn’t make weight for regionals last season and is currently ranked third in 4A, rose to the top of a 170-pound bracket that included three other wrestlers ranked in the top 10. In the championship match, Ramos-Vega (42-5) won a 4-1 decision over fifth-ranked Andrue Rojas from Greeley Central.
“I didn’t wrestle regional last year because I missed weight by 0.2,” Ramos-Vega said. “This puts me on top of the bracket so my first few matches might be easier and I might be more well-rested when I get closer to the end.”
Trojans senior Jared Wells (24-18) lost 17-3 to Northridge’s Justus Strand in the 132-pound title bout. Also going to state for the Trojans, Nathan Morris (29-13) took fourth at 145s and Logan Goodner (20-12) took fourth at 182s.
Skyline brothers Jesus and Uriel Contreras fulfilled their dream of qualifying for state together before Jesus graduates, each wining his bracket’s third-place match. Uriel Contreras (26-12), a 113-pound sophomore, won a 9-0 major decision over Roosevelt’s Derek Golden. Jesus Contreras (26-8), a 145-pound senior, won a 6-2 decision over Longmont’s Nathan Morris.
For the Frederick Warriors, sophomore 170-pounder Jake Longstreth (22-13) just missed a state qualification and was pinned by Windsor’s Bryce Bloom in 2:17 during a wrestle-back match for state after losing to Fort Morgan’s Jacob Fritzler in the third-place match.
Out of twelve teams, host Windsor took home the team title with 269.5 points. Silver Creek (103.5) was seventh, Longmont (95) placed eighth, Frederick (42) was ninth, Skyline (40) finished 10th and Niwot (38) was 12th.
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4A Region 3 tournament
At Windsor H.S.
Team scores — Windsor 269.5, Greeley Central 235, Roosevelt 148.5, Mountain View 127, Fort Morgan 124, Northridge 116.5, Silver Creek 103.5, Longmont 95, Frederick 42, Skyline 40, Vista Peak 40, Niwot 38.
106 — Zeke Alirez, Greeley Central, maj. dec. Sawyer Novara, Silver Creek, 10-1.
113 — Sam Zdenek, Windsor, dec. Alonzo Samaniego, Greeley Central, 6-0.
120 — Tommy Stager, Niwot. pinned Miguel Manuel, Greeley Central, 4:28.
126 — Josh Villa, Windsor, dec. Logan Newcomb, Roosevelt, 4-1.
132 — Justus Strand, Northridge, maj. dec. Jared Wells, Longmont, 17-3.
138 — Erik Lobato-Contreras, Mountain View, dec. Gerald Mack, Windsor, 12-5.
145 — Matteo Ambriz, Windsor, dec. Dustin Hayden, Roosevelt, 7-5.
152 — Chico Trujillo, Greeley Central, dec. Terrance Williams, Windsor, 1-0.
160 — Adam Rojas, Greeley Central, dec. Nick Hall, Windsor, 6-2.
170 — Fernando Ramos-Vega, Longmont, dec. Andrue Rojas, Greeley Central, 4-1.
182 — Joe Keller, Windsor, dec. Zack Nirode, Northridge, 10-3.
195 — Alex Mai, Fort Morgan, dec. Eduardo Rojas, Greeley Central, 4-1.
220 — Toby McBride, Fort Morgan, dec. Mitch Webster, Silver Creek, 10-4.
285 — Nathan Putallaz, Roosevelt, dec. Jesus Ibarra, Fort Morgan, 2-1(3OT).
Local third-place matches
113 — Uriel Contreras, Skyline, maj. dec. Derek Golden, Roosevelt, 9-0.
145 — Jesus Contreras, Skyline, dec. Nathan Morris, Longmont, 6-2.
170 — Jacob Fritzler, Fort Morgan, maj. dec. Jake Longstreth, Frederick, 13-5.
182 — Jonathan Hernandez, Mountain View, dec. Logan Goodner, Longmont, 7-4.
195 — Kenny Jones, Silver Creek, pinned Josh Grasmick, Windsor, 1:49.
Local wrestle-back matches for state qualifying
152 — Dylan Obenshain, Mountain View, pinned Justis Evans, Silver Creek, 2:15.
170 — Bryce Bloom, Windsor, pinned Jake Longstreth, Frederick, 2:17.