DENVER - Alex Peña of Ignacio saved up for this one.
Peña, the Bobcats' defending state champion, returned to the state finals after pulling off perhaps the biggest late
comeback in the entire 2010 State Wrestling Championships.
The Ignacio High School sophomore trailed highly regarded Chad Terry of Hayden by four points with just 10 seconds
left in their 112-pound state semifinal match.
The opportunity to return to a state championship match appeared to slip away as Hayden led 6-2 in the third period.
With a stoppage in the action, the two wrestlers reset in the center of the mat with both wrestlers standing, in a
neutral position and :10 on the clock.
But faster than you can say hang loose," Peña stunned Terry and the 15,000-plus in the Pepsi Center with a
lightning-quick takedown for two points and an even quicker near pin that netted three points.
Peña won the match 7-6 - coming from four points down with 10 seconds left.
Coach Turf calls it 'the big move,'" Peña said of coach Bob Overturf's special plan for just such an occasion.
It's for times like this," Peña said as he was interviewed by a Denver television station after his dramatic
It's like your life savings," the Ignacio sophomore said. You save up and save up and save up and then, when you
need it, you use it."
The victory and an earlier pin of Ramon Tarin of Wray in the quarterfinals sent Peña into today's state championship
match against Waylon Cordova of John Mall High School in Walsenburg.
Cordova defeated Peña last weekend in the Class 2A Regional finals, one of only two losses on the season for Peña
Peña is the lone Ignacio wrestler in the state finals after teammates Chance Wyatt, Casey Haga and Josh Plehinger all
lost in Friday night's semifinals.
Wyatt, at 215 pounds, lost for only the second time all season when he fell to top seed Mike Satterly of Burlington
10-7. The two wrestlers entered the state semifinals with a combined 59-2 record.
Satterly, now 31-1, will wrestle for gold today.
Wyatt, 29-2, will go after bronze.
The Ignacio senior, in an historic match, won a tough 6-4 decision over Mike Dillon of Rangely, a senior, in the
Wyatt's quarterfinal match was officiated by Maiva Maree of Conifer, the first female official in the 75-year history
of the Colorado High School Activities Association state tournament.
Maree was one of 30 Colorado wrestling officials selected to work the state tournament. There are more than 300 prep
officials in the state.She also is the first woman in the United States to draw a state high school tournament
Haga, at 130 pounds, was turned back by No. 1 seed Buddy Watson of Wiggins (40-1) in the semifinals 10-8.
With the loss, Haga (36-3) will go for third place today.
Haga decisioned Paonia sophomore Adrian Lopez 8-2 in the quarterfinals.
Plehinger, who was second at state last year, lost to top seed Wyatt Barber of Merino in the 140-pound semifinals.
Barber improved to 29-1; Plehinger, at 28-4, will wrestle for third place today.
Plehinger had a second-period pin against Haydon Nordyke of Holly in the quarterfinals Friday morning. The pin came
at 3:50 with Plehinger leading 7-5.
In other consolation matches, Jeff Herrera, Ignacio's 125-pound state qualifier, split a pair of matches Friday.
He won his first consolation match with a takedown with two seconds left to beat Justin Bull of Akron 4-2. The close
contest was scoreless until the third period. But with the match 2-2 with :06 on the clock, Herrera shot quickly and
bulldogged Bull to the mat for the victory.
In his second consolation bout, Herrera lost 8-0 to Preston Bonine of Paonia.
Herrera, a sophomore, finished his year 21-14.
Colton Wyatt (171) also split his second consolation match Friday.
He overpowered Luke Schroeder of Swink 17-3 in the morning. But the Ignacio sophomore lost in his evening match, losing a high-scoring thriller to Cole Biegel of Burlington 17-13.
The lead changed hands five times in the last two periods before Biegel won.
Colton Wyatt ended the season 16-7.
Ignacio senior Jared Ruybal won his first consolation match with a 12-6 win over Frank Fehr of Baca County.
Tyler Dell of Swink ended Ruybal's tournament with a third-period pin in the second round of consolation.
The 2A state tournament ended Friday morning for Ethan Pearson of Ignacio (145 pounds). He was pinned by Brent Harris
of Norwood in the third period. Harris was leading 10-4 at the time of the pin.
Pearson, a junior, finished the season 13-14.
Darrin Legerstrom (152) also lost his first consolation match, falling 11-5 to Sheridan Howe of Las Animas.
Legerstrom, a sophomore, was 11-16 after advancing to his first state tourney.
At 160, Ignacio's Derrick Naranjo was eliminated when he lost to Garrett Walker of Wiggins in the consolation
bracket. Naranjo was pinned in the second. He finished the season 9-16.