DENVER - The thrill of victory and the frustration of defeat hit the Bayfield Wolverines on the first day of the State Wrestling Championships at the Pepsi Center on Thursday.Four Wolverines experienced the thrill at state. Two others suffered the agony of a first-round loss in the Class 3A state tournament.
The swing of emotions came back-to-back for Bayfield at 140 and 145 pounds.
Taylor Swanemyr, a BHS junior, fell behind early in his match against Jordan Smith of Platte Valley. He trailed 2-0, then 4-0 and finally 6-0 entering the third period of their 140-pound match.
"That was a close one," BHS head coach Herb Stinson said after Swanemyr scored six points in the third period to tie the score and force overtime. "He finally won it in overtime."
Swanemyr scored an OT takedown to win 8-6 and advance to the state quarterfinals at 140 pounds.
Swanemyr, 27-6, will face Jared Tonder of Grand Valley in today's second-round match. Tonder pinned his opponent, Zach McEhloes of Discovery Canyon, in 26 seconds.
As dramatic as Swanemyr's win was at 140, Austin Thorne's loss at 145 was equally dramatic for the Wolverines.
Thorne fell 8-5 to Matt Smith of Eaton in a match that was close from the start to the finish.
Thorne will move into the consolation bracket today.
"That was a tough one for us," Stinson said.
But the majority of Stinson's wrestlers advanced into the second round.
Trevor Huntsman, at 125 pounds, scored early and scored late in a 15-4 major decision over Zack Love, a sophomore from Cedaredge.
Huntsman, 30-3, will face Vicente Gallegos of Arrupe Jesuit, 29-3, in the 125-pound quartefinals this morning.
Gallegos won 21-6 over Jordan Ross of Strasburg.
Bayfield freshman Aaron Velasquez won his inaugural state tournament match Thursday. He fell behind early 3-1 but rallied to tie the match in the second period.
Velasquez won 7-3 on the stretch of a pair of third-period takedowns against Enrique Delgado of Sheridan.
Velasquez, 30-7, will wrestle Nate Birdseye of Middle Park, 27-15, today.
Bayfield also picked up a first-round win from three-time state qualifier Markus Eckstein at 189 pounds. Eckstein dominated his match against Brian Macchione of Middle Park, eventually winning 14-1.
Eckstein, 29-5, advanced to a quarterfinal match against Aaron Olson of Platte Valley, 24-15. Olson defeated Jared Gambrell of Bennett 8-5 on Thursday.
Bayfield's final state entry, 160-pounder Brenden Harrison lost by pin (in the second period) to Phillip Merwin of La Junta.
Harrison, 18-16, will wrestle Jason Anderson of Cedaredge in today's consolation round.
Centauri, Bayfield's Intermountain League rival, led after the first day of competition with 30.5 points. Olathe is second with 25 points. Grand Valley is third with 20 points.
Bayfield is tied for 14th with 10 points.