GREELEY — It has just been one of those seasons for Mead senior Jeremy Ashton.
The 132-pound Mavericks stud was noticeably absent from the Mavericks roster early in the season and he wasn’t shy about why.
He was ineligible.
But the two-time regional champ hit the books hard, got his grades up and eventually got back on the mat. It wasn’t pretty early on and he took his lumps — especially at the Top of the Rockies, where he bowed out after just three matches.
“When I started back, coach was putting me at 145s and I was really 138 and I think he did to get me those harder matches and get caught up,” said Ashton, who made his fourth regional final on Saturday afternoon in the Class 4A Region 3 tournament at Northridge.
It paid off and Ashton dominated his final against Canon City’s Shane Coffey, pinning him in 3 minutes, 56 seconds to claim his third regional title.
“After I lost at Top of the Rockies, I wondered what was going on. Was I just having a down day or what is going on and I couldn’t figure it out,” he said. “But that definitely played a factor into the last month.”
After a technical fall in the first round, Ashton pinned his way to the championship and will head to the Class 4A state tournament next week at the Pepsi Center with a head of steam and some unfinished business.
“I am more comfortable. I don’t have to stress over anything and my attitude is a lot better,” said Ashton who has finished 5th, 2nd and 4th in his first three season at state. “I have a process I go through every time and I feel comfortable with that and I feel like I’m going to be on fire.”
Ashton will head up a Mead contingent that will send five to state, including Roman Salaz (3rd at 106), Luis Miramontes (4th at 285) and both Brady Borger (113) and Emilio Chavez (126). Borger, who started the year on the Mavericks junior varsity squad, and Chavez each won their wrestleback matches to earn their trip.
Longmont’s Drake Engelking pinned his way to the final against Mountain View’s Jackson Gilbert and then the junior had his way with the Mountain Lions senior in the final, winning 15-4.
Much like Ashton, it was been a bit of a shortened season for Engelking. He enjoyed success in California at the Doc Buchanan Invite, but came back home and nursed some nagging injuries to make sure he was 100 percent for the final two weeks of the season.
“It feels good to be on top of the podium,” said Engelking, who won his first regional title on his third try. “I’m hungry for it. The last two years have been rough (a 2nd and 3rd place finish), but I am ready to get there.”
Engelking is one of four Trojans on his way to state. Joining him are John Nicholas (120), Gio Wilson 126) and brother Brayden Engelking (145).
Silver Creek heavyweight Jacob Williams will take a perfect 38-0 record to Denver after he beat Skyline’s Ricky Childers 2-0 in the championship match.
Williams, who will be joined by 182-pounder Tyler Young (he lost 7-4 in the final to Fort Morgan’s Bryan Paxton), scored an escape in the third period and earned his other point when Childers was called for stalling.
It wasn’t a bad day for Skyline. The Falcons had a shot to send upwards of eight kids to state, but will take a St. Vrain-best — along with Mead — five to the Pepsi Center.
“When you get to this kind of tournament, you just never know. It wouldn’t have been who I would have predicted if I had to predict five, but we’ll take it,” Falcon coach Mike Silva said. “The challenge was to wrestle every match, every position and let the results be what they are and our boys did that.”
Skyline will be sending Andrew Sandoval (113), Grayden Bridwell (120), Angel Perez (182), Issaac Hesse (195) and heavyweight Childers.
Frederick will send three to state — Cole Hoffman (132), Victor Rangel (152) and Robert Saldi (160).
After a tough bout of the skin disease impetigo that shut down their room for nearly three weeks, Erie managed to get one to state. Freshman 106-pounder Rudy Lopez put up a good fight in the final against Greeley Central’s Ricky Zavala, but lost 9-5.
CLASS 4A REGION 3
Team scores — Greeley Central 230.5, Canon City 192, Fort Morgan 169.5, Mountain View 138, Roosevelt 121, Mead 119, Skyline 113, Longmont 87.5, Frederick 78, Glenwood Springs 77, Erie 69, Silver Creek 47, Northridge 30.
LOCAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES
106 — Ricky Zavala, Greeley Central dec. Rudy Lopez, Erie, 9-5.
113 — Ethan Hays, Roosevelt dec. Andrew Sandoval, Skyline, 9-2.
132 — Jeremy Ashton, Mead, pinned Shane Coffey, Canon City, 2:56.
160 — Drake Engelking, Longmont major dec. Jackson Gilbert, Mountain View, 15-3.
182 — Bryan Paxton Fort Morgan dec. Tyler Young, Silver Creek, 7-4.
285 — Jacob Williams, Silver Creek dec. Ricky Childers, Skyline, 2-0.
LOCAL THIRD PLACE MATCHES
106 — Roman Salaz, Mead dec. Will Loecke, Roosevelt, 5-4.
113 — Joey Gauna, Canon City pinned JT Gardner, Frederick, :22.
120 — John Nicholas, Longmont dec. Grayden Bridwell, Skyline, 4-0.
126 — Gio Wilson, Longmont dec. Jose Perez, Skyline, 9-4.
132 — Bo Slaymaker, Roosevelt pinned Cole Hoffman, Frederick, 2:40.
145 — Brayden Engelking, Longmont dec. Kase Givens, Fort Morgan, 8-3.
152 — Bailey McBride, Fort Morgan dec. Victor Rangel, Frederick, 8-2.
160 — Robert Saldi, Frederick pinned Treyvaughn Martinez, Greeley Central, 4:44.
182 — Angel Perez, Skyline won by injury default over Antonio Ordonez, Glenwood Springs.
195 — Luis Ronquillo, Canon City pinned Issaac Hesse, Skyline, :45.
285 — Martin Rodriquez, Mountain View dec. Luis Miramontes, Mead, 9-7.
LOCAL FIFTH PLACE MATCHES
106 — Jonah Gardner, Frederick won by forfeit over Zeon Ortega, Canon City.
113 — Brady Borger, Mead pinned Julian Vasquez, Greeley Central, 2:07.
120 — Trevor Harris, Erie pinned Max Burrell, Glenwood Springs, 1:57.
126 — Emilio Chavez, Mead major dec. Dallas Mantz, Roosevelt, 13-2.
138 — Zach Roach, Erie pinned Leif Neusken, Longmont, 1:14.
145 — Bransen Roylance, Erie pinned Bayley West, Frederick, 2:33.
195 — Jesus Encinias, Mead dec. Anthony Alirez, Greeley Central, 3-0.
220 — Alex Ortiz, Skyline, dec. Jacob Macaluso, Mead, 5-2.
113 — Brady Borger, Mead major dec. JT Gardner, Frederick, 15-5.
126 — Emilio Chavez, Mead pinned Jose Perez, Skyline, 2:44.
145 — Kase Givens, Fort Morgan tech fall Bransen Roylance, Erie, 15-0 (3:12).