By Dale Strode
Herald Sports Writer
DENVER - Bayfield High School's bid for an individual state wrestling champion was derailed Friday night.
Aaron Velasquez and Brenden Harrison, wrestling in the Class 3A state semifinals, lost both of their matches with both
wrestlers moving to the consolation bracket today.
They'll have a chance to wrestle for third place along with teammate Taylor Swanemyr, who powered through two
consolation matches earlier Friday.
Now we've got to come back through the back side," Bayfield head coach Herb Stinson said late Friday night at the
raucous Pepsi Center.
You know, once you get over here (to state), there are no slouches everybody's tough," Stinson said after Velasquez
lost a 5-2 thriller to Kyle Piatt of Olathe in a 152-pound semifinal match.
Piatt, the undefeated No. 1 seed in the weight class, led from the start. But Velasquez rallied with a pair of late
escapes in the loss.
Piatt, 42-0, will wrestle for the state title today against Iver Sandoval of Centauri, like Bayfield a member of the
Harrison, who won his quarterfinal match Friday morning along with Velasquez, faced defending state champion Matt
Addington of Florence in the 160-pound semifinals.
Addington improved to 49-0 with a 15-0 win over Harrison, a BHS senior.
That kid (Addington) is real special," Stinson said. He's a special wrestler."
Velasquez and Harrison won their quarterfinal matches Friday morning in thrilling fashion.
Harrison, who missed a dozen matches early in the regular season because of an injury, stunned Olathe senior Zack
Stansberry 2-1 in a wrestling match that left coaches from both schools exhausted.
Harrison had a first-period takedown to lead 2-0.
After a scoreless second period, the two dueled into the third period.
Stansberry managed an escape with 1:02 left in the match to cut the lead to 2-1.
But Harrison halted any further scoring as he won a big family showdown - Harrison and Stansberry are cousins.
Velasquez won an equally enthralling match when he edged John Sandoval III of Holy Family 4-2.
Velasquez led 2-0 only to have Sandoval tie the match in the first period.
But Velasquez pulled away for an escape with one second left in the period to lead 3-2.
The BHS sophomore added an escape point in the third period against the barrel-chested senior, who finished his season
with a 32-4 record.
Swanemyr, a 145-pound BHS senior, came back on a rampage Friday after losing his first match Thursday night.
Swanemyr, an all-state safety who will play football at Fort Lewis College next fall, blitzed his first-round
consolation opponent, pinning Justin Ellison of Ellicott in 61 seconds.
Then Swanemyr hooked up against Ryan Roper of Gunnison. The bout was tied 0-0 at the end of the first period and
3-3 at the end of the second.
Swanemyr led 5-3 before Roper tied the match 5-5, forcing overtime.
But with 30 seconds left in the first OT, Swanemyr worked a nifty takedown to win 7-5.
This is my fourth year qualifying for state, so I have to place at least once," Swanemyr said after the exhausting
I was pretty scared in overtime," Swanemyr said. He was a big, strong kid."
Still in contention for a possible third-place medal, the Bayfield senior said he came back to the Pepsi Center on a
I came back pissed off," he said. I was ready."
Taylor had a little bit more focus (Friday)," his coach said. And he wrestled that way."
Swanemyr will continue in the consolation bracket this morning.
Sonny Salazar, Bayfield's 103-pounder, split two consolation matches Friday.
He opened with a solid
7-0 shutout of Justin Vang of Erie.
But in his second consolation match, Salazar was ousted from the state tournament when Ben Pridy of Olathe came from
behind with a pin in the final period to win.
Salazar, a virtual takedown machine, led 10-3, then 10-6 at the time of his fall.
Salazar, a sophomore, finished the season 24-14.
He was a tall kid," Salazar said. I have trouble with those tall guys."
Alex Araujo, the Wolverines' 189-pound state qualifier, won his first match and then lost his second Friday.
He whipped Wade Pope of Peyton 12-5.
Then he lost by late pin to Hans McConnell of Colorado Springs Christian, a towering
Araujo, a senior, ended the season 17-13.
The state tournament ended for Bayfield High School's 125-pound freshman Joe Zink in the consolation bracket. Zink lost
13-8 to Ramon Sanchez of Gunnison.