Skip to content

Wrestling: Erie nabs second place at Niwot Gary Daum Invite

Tigers see five finalists in strong performance


NIWOT — The end of the holiday break means the return to the mat for boys wrestling teams and a pair of Class 4A squads put on some dominating performances at the Gary Daum Classic on Saturday.

Thompson Valley came away with the team title with 266 points, followed not too far behind by Erie, with 194 points as teams shook off some rust from a two-week layoff from competition.

“The past few weeks have been slow at practice because it is tough getting back into it and you are kind of out of shape,” Thompson Valley’s Titus Juergensen said. “We went hard this week and we all felt really ready to wrestle and that helped a lot. This tournament is a nice little kickoff to the tougher part of our season so it is really exciting starting off this way.”

Juergensen was one of three title winners for the Eagles, who had another two wrestlers come away with runner-up finishes.

Competing at 138 pounds, Juergensen (19-3 this season) won his final match over Erie’s Carson Hageman (12-4) with a pin with 43 seconds left in the third period.

“I was feeling the nerves before because I hadn’t wrestled in a few weeks and I was just really excited to be in the finals again,” Juergensen said. “I just did some breathing exercises before my match and when I got there, I was nice and ready. He wrestled really tough, but I studied how he wrestled and I controlled the match overall the whole way.”

One of Thompson Valley’s other big wins came from Jackzen Rairdon at 113. Rairdon, who is now 24-0 this season, has competed several times at 120 this season — and is even ranked first in the state at that weight by Tim Yount with On the Mat — but finds it easier to make weight at 113.

At his size, he has dominated this season and that continued Saturday when he defeated Skyline’s Calvin Mendez (17-2) with 53 seconds left in the third period.

“It felt really good,” Rairdon said. “At 113, I am really big compared to most of the other kids.I was super excited to get back into some competition and be able to wrestle. It was great.”

Thompson Valley’s other championship came from Ronan Bitter at 182. Bittner (19-3) pinned Fort Lupton’s Alex Mata (8-8) 1:03 into the second period.

Erie, meanwhile, won a pair titles and had three runner-up finishes, including Hademan’s result against Juergensen.
One of those victories came from Gavin Malek (9-2), who needed only 1:37 to pin Fort Morgan’s Timmy Paxton (6-3).

“The first match, I came out strong and hit him with a double A and pinned him pretty quickly in the first period,” Malek said. “The second match, I took all six minutes and pinned him with, like, three seconds left. Third match, I came out really prepared and came out strong.”

Erie’s other title came from Ramon Salazar at 126. Salazar (17-1) and Skyline’s Tobias Pinson (20-3) went to a third period, where Salazar got a pin seven seconds in.

“I was really focusing on certain things that I wasn’t capitalizing on at the (Northern Colorado) Christmas tournament,” Salazar said. “I just thought, our team as a whole, we are doing really good and we got a lot better.”

At other weights, Holy Family’s Brayden Bach (21-5) defeated Elizabeth’s Thomas Lee (10-4) at 106s. At 120, Loveland’s Kobi Johnson (14-1) pinned Erie’s Noah Lopez (18-4) in 1:17 in a battle of two of the top three wrestlers in the state at their weight.

At 132, Boulder’s Joey Airola (16-1) pinned Ethan Schingle of Fort Morgan (14-6) in the second period. Loveland picked up another title when Isaac Padgett (4-0) won a 6-2 decision over Elizabeth’s Kyle Owen (17-3) at 145.

Lyons’ Jaden Gardner (16-3) defeated Fort Lupton’s Isaac Rodriguez (8-2) with a pin late in the first period to win at 152. At 160, Loveland’s Mason Moskalski (10-5) finished runner-up to Thornton’s Zach Zuniga (8-0).

At 170, Loveland’s Jude Quinlan (16-4) defeated Erie’s Michael Brazeau (6-2) with a pin at 1:00. Holy Family’s Abram Moore (19-4) pinned Thompson Valley’s Taylor Graff (17-5) 11 seconds into the second period at 220.

Finally, at 285, Thompson Valley’s Sebastian Sanchez (18-5) lost a 6-1 decision to Northridge’s Alexis Rosa Serrano (7-2).

Loveland was third in the team race with 142 points. Skyline was fifth with 138 as four points separated places third through fifth.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.