BROOMFIELD — There is slim to no doubt Erie senior Ramon Salazar has more than enough drive to notch a second straight wrestling title in high school.
A more pressing question would be: Can his body survive the wear and tear he is imposing on it?
Salazar — who normally practiced twice a day, five days per week during his state title run last season in the 126-pound weight class — said he is up to three times a day as he goes for gold in Class 4A 132s next month.
The senior starts his first training session of the day around 5:45 in the morning, then finishes around 8:30 at night. Everything he does is carefully sized up and adjusted when necessary — from his training, to rest, to diet.
“He’s going to train the way he’s going to train. The good ones do,” Erie coach Joe Ferrera said. “The biggest thing is when he’s in our room, he’s 100% in our room. Having those conversations with him, knowing where he’s at, checking stuff off the list and making sure weight is not a concern. Just take care of the things you can take care of, so when it comes time to wrestle, you can wrestle.”
Thursday night, the top-ranked 132-pound wrestler in 4A (per On The Mat) said he was a bit gassed. He won 6-0 over 5A No. 6 Brennon Joiner of Legacy, though the Lightning went on to trump the Tigers 45-24 in its home dual.
After spending the day fasting to keep weight, it’s safe to say Salazar is still fine-tuning his preparation ahead of the regional tournaments in two weeks.
“I have to make sure I’m not working when I don’t need to. Taking the right time off without losing my edge,” Salazar said. “And I need to make sure I eat enough to where I’m not hungry, but not overeating.”
Ryan Bynarowicz, ranked fourth in 5A, pinned Giovanni Capra in 2 minutes, 20 seconds in 175s for the Lightning, who won by fall four times against the Tigers.
The senior, after he was an elite defensive end during the football season for the school, is considered a state contender on the mat this winter. He lost in the second round of 170s at Ball Arena a year ago.
“He has a consistent, good, hard work ethic,” Legacy coach Mike Thompson said. “Him and Quinn (Funk) work hard together. He battles and he is a great leader in the room.”
5A No. 4 Funk (190s), Alex Erickson (215) and Matt Clifton (113) also won by pin for Legacy, which is at Prairie View High School for the Front Range League tournament Saturday.
Carson Hageman (144) and Hunter Waneka (120) had victories by fall for Erie, which has a dual against Skyline Friday before taking part in the league meet.