DENVER - State championship math did a number on the Ignacio High School wrestling team Thursday afternoon.
The Class 2A Bobcats, who qualified 10 wrestlers for the Colorado High School Activities Association State Wrestling
Championships, advanced four to today's quarterfinals. Six other Ignacio wrestlers lost Thursday and will resume the
tournament in the consolation bracket today.
We won four, but I was looking for a couple more wins," Ignacio head coach Bob Overturf said. It seemed like we
were wrestling to survive and not to win."
He said the Ignacio wrestlers overall weren't as aggressive as he had hoped.
And you can't wrestle like that over here (at state)," Overturf said. So we're going back to the rooms and I'm
going to chew some butt (Thursday night)."
Overturf, however, was more than pleased with his winners at the Pepsi Center.
Chance looked great," Overturf said of senior Chance Wyatt, who pinned Justin Lenox of Eads at 1:23 of the opening
period in their match at 215 pounds. Chance did a nice job."
Wyatt (28-1) will take on senior Mike Dillon of Rangely in today's quarterfinals. Dillon (29-10) also won by pinfall
Ignacio's other opening-day winners were Casey Haga (130 pounds), Josh Plehinger (140) and defending state champion
Alex Peña (119).
Peña, a sophomore, faced a regional rival in Dalton Randolph of Dove Creek. Peña, who led 2-0 at the end of the first
period, controlled the rest of the match and won 10-2.
Peña (24-2) will wrestle Ramon Tarin of Wray, a freshman, in today's quarterfinal match. Tarin is 20-18 on the
Plehinger, a state runner-up a year ago, was locked in a close match with Jason Erker of Wiggins on Thursday
Plehinger led early. But the bout was tied 2-2 at the end of the first period and tied 5-5 after two periods.
The decisive third period was scoreless until the final 15 seconds.
With the Ignacio wrestling fans cheering wildly, Plehinger executed a takedown with 15 seconds remaining to lead 7-5.
He gave up an escape with :02 on the clock to get away with a 7-6 win.
Plehinger (27-3) will wresle Haydon Nordyke of Holly (10-7) in the quarterfinals.
Haga, an Ignacio junior and a two-time state placer, made short work of his opening-round foe. Haga pinned Khy Rigel
of Fleming early in the second period of their match.
Haga (35-2) advanced to wrestle Adrian Lopez of Paonia (17-9) today.
Casey wrestled a good match," Overturf said. Alex (Peña) was Alex. And Josh he had a tough match. Josh wasn't
satisfied with his match."
Overturf said Haga did a great job against a challenging opponent.
A guy like that is tough to wrestle. He's a clinger. He just clings to you," Overturf said.
Ignacio's Jeff Herrera lost a 2-1 heartbreaker at 125 pounds to J.C. Chumacero of Rangely, a senior. Herrera, a
sophomore, will compete in the consolation rounds today.
Ethan Pearson of the Bobcats, a junior, lost his opening match at 145 pounds in the 2A state tournament. He lost in a
second-period pin against Rito Tarango of Holly (26-13).
Ignacio sophomore Darrin Legerstrom (152 pounds) was pinned midway through the opening period in his match against
Koleman Williams, a senior from Hayden.
Derrick Naranjo, a sophomore in the 160-pound bracket, lost to defending state champion Justin Smith of Paonia. Smith
(35-4) pinned Naranjo at 1:09 of the first period.
At 171 pounds, Ignacio sophomore Colton Wyatt was pinned in the third period by senior Luke Garrett of Holyoke.
Wyatt, battling a hip injury, trailed 14-4 at the time of the pin.
Jared Ruybal, Ignacio's senior heavyweight, also lost by pin Thursday. Ruybal was pinned by Chance Waite of Limon
early in the first period.
Burlington led the Class 2A state team scoring after opening day with 32 points. Paonia was second with 30 points.
Merino was third (23). Ignacio stood in 14th place after the first round of matches.