The wrestlers are ready.
The brackets are set.
The 75th annual Colorado High School Activities Association State Wrestling Championships begin today at the Pepsi
Center in Denver.
Wrestlers from Durango to Deer Trail, from Bayfield to Burlington, from Ignacio to Idalia will converge on the arena
for state tournaments in 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A classifications.
Preliminary matches in the 2A and 3A divisions will start at 3 p.m. today. The 4A and 5A prelims will begin at 7:15
For today's matches, there will be 10 mats in use simultaneously on the floor of the Pepsi Center.
The Class 5A Durango Demons, coached by Doug Cuddie, qualified junior Rudy Peterson (103 pounds) and senior C.J. Hamby
(112 pounds) to the state finals. Both also qualified for state last year.
Peterson (29-6) will take on Pomona freshman Austin Marvel (34-7) in his opening match.
Hamby (23-9) will wrestle junior Chris Buccieri of Aurora Cherokee Trail (38-2) in the first round. Buccieri and Josh
Martinez of Pine Creek
(41-1) are the top seeds in the
Bayfield High School, coached by Herb Stinson, advanced six wrestlers to the Class 3A state tournament this year.
The Wolverines are led by sophomore Aaron Velasquez at 152 pounds. He finished fourth at state as a freshman last
Velasquez (27-4) will go against sophomore Jaden Oleamick of Eaton (27-10). Top seeds in the division are Kyle Piatt of
Olathe (39-0) and Iver Sandoval of Centauri (36-4).
Other BHS state qualifiers are sophomore Sonny Salazar (103), freshman Joe Zink (125), senior Taylor Swanemyr (145),senior Brenden Harrison (160) and senior Alex Araujo (189).
Araujo (16-11) will wrestle junior Shay Hansen of Brush
Harrison (12-10) is matched against junior Keenan Wahlert of La Junta (23-13).
Swanemyr (27-6) is pitted against senior Edgar Castro of Weld Central (32-9) in the opening round.
Zink (11-14) will face freshman Patrick Gore of Valley
Salazar (23-12) will wrestle junior Brandon Strang of Middle Park (30-7) in a Class 3A first-round match.
Ignacio High School, coached by Bob Overturf, will have 10 wrestlers competing in the 2A state tournament, starting
The Bobcats are paced by defending state champion Alex Peña. The Ignacio sophomore (23-2) will take on Dove Creek
freshman Dalton Randolph
(23-12) in a matchup of two Southwest Colorado wrestlers.
Ignacio senior Josh Plehinger, a state runner-up a year ago, is back again this year at 140 pounds. Plehinger (26-3)
will take on senior Jason Erker of Wiggins (16-9) in the first round. Plehinger and senior James Drinkhouse of Paonia
(15-2) are the top-seeded wrestlers at 140.
Casey Haga, a two-time state placer for Ignacio, including a state runner-up finish two years ago, also returns to
state for the Bobcats.
Haga (34-2) will wrestle Fleming junior Khy Rigel (12-9) today. Haga, Buddy Watson of Wiggins (37-1) and Devon Rose of
Rangely (32-4) are the three top seeds at 130 pounds.
Another returning state qualifier, senior Chance Wyatt (27-1), is one of the top seeds at 215 pounds. He'll take on
freshman Justin Lenox of Eads (15-20) in the first round. Brother Colton Wyatt, a sophomore, also will return to state
for the Bobcats. Colton Wyatt (15-4) will meet senior Luke Garrett of Holyoke (27-9) today at 171 pounds.
Jeff Herrera (20-12), an Ignacio sophomore, will wrestle senior Nathan Schroeder of Wiggins (27-10) in a first-round
bout at 125 pounds.
Ethan Pearson (13-12) will wrestle for the Bobcats at 145 pounds. The Ignacio junior will take on Rito Tarango (25-13),a senior from Holly.
Darrin Legerstrom (11-15), a 152-pound sophomore at Ignacio High School, will take on Koleman Williams of Hayden
(18-14), a senior.
Sophomore Derrick Naranjo (9-14), who qualified for state at 160 pounds, will take on top seed Justin Smith of Paonia
(34-4), a senior.
Jared Ruybal, an Ignacio senior, will take on Chance Waite of Limon in today's first round at heavyweight.
Ruybal is 8-12 on the season. Waite, a junior, is 24-4.
Second-round matches will follow today's opening-round bouts.
The championship quarterfinals will start at 10 a.m. Friday.
State semifinals will be held Friday night.
The championship matches and third-place matches will be contested Saturday.
For the first time in state championship history, the state finals will be offered on a pay-per-view Web cast from
Rocky Mountain Sports Page and RMN Events.
Live coverage of the finals will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $12 per school classification or $25 for all
four classes and includes the Parade of Champions.
A portion of the proceeds will go to the Foundation for Colorado High School Student Activities, which is affiliated
Access to the Web cast can be made through the CHSAA Web site at chsaa.org.