DENVER • Three’s company in the 5A state wrestling championships for Coronado.
A trio of Cougars punched their ticket to the finals tonight at the Pepsi Center, as they make a run at a team title for the second time in three years. Greeley West is in first place with 90.5 points, with the Cougars in second at 75.5.
Sophomore Trent Watson will lead off for the Cougars as he attempts to defend his 106-pound title from a year ago, when he wrestled at Pine Creek. The top-seeded Watson took a 3-0 lead before surrendering points on a stalling penalty and an escape to Horizon’s Anthony Cortez in the semifinal. But he gathered himself and scored a takedown and five near-fall points in the final period for a 10-4 win
“I was just telling myself to keep calm, keep focused, keep wrestling my match,” Watson said. “I just tried to time it right and I scored the takedown.”
Classmate Jess Hankin followed at 113 with a 5-2 win over Ponderosa’s Kade Snider. Hankin knocked off two regional champions to reach the finals, where he will face top-seeded Kyndall Rutz of Thunderridge.
Two-time defending champion senior Adrian Cordova picked up an 8-6 decision over Jerry Trujillo of Arvada West in a 120 semifinal match that wasn’t as close as the score suggests. Cordova scored four takedowns in the match in his usual style of catch-and-release.
“I like (my style) a lot because it breaks a person down,” Cordova said. “It breaks them mentally and physically to where they can’t take it anymore and they start to wrestle (poorly). I take advantage of that.”
Pine Creek is sitting in sixth in the standings with 67 points, looking for its two state finalists to continue to add points.
Senior Geordan Martinez recorded his third pin of the tournament in just 27 seconds over Doherty’s Thaddeus Hayes to advance to the 138 final. Senior 152 Alex Smith followed with a pin of Ponderosa’s Kelton Good in 3:21 to set up a rematch with Mountain Range’s Randy Boerner, who beat Smith 2-1 in the regional final.
Boerner also beat Smith 9-2 earlier in the year, but Smith thinks he learned enough from those losses to earn a state title.
“It was heartbreaking,” Smith said of the regional tournament loss. “I’ve fixed what needed to be fixed and tweaked what I was already doing good.”