State wrestling Cheyenne Mountain
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Cheyenne Mountain's freshman Nico Gagliardi gets pinned by Pueblo East's Zion Freeman to finish second at state on Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver. (Photo by Kelsey Brunner/The Gazette)

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DENVER • Cheyenne Mountain's Nico Gagliardi didn't get the result that he wanted in the Class 4A 195-pound final at the Pepsi Center on Saturday night.

But he ended his freshman season knowing that he and his teammates did their best.

The Indians finished the highest in their respective team standings out of all Pikes Peak region teams. They were in sixth place with 70 points after Gagliardi's loss to Pueblo East senior Zion Freeman, who won via pin with seconds left in the match.

Pueblo East won the 4A title with 200 points, followed by Pueblo County's 181.5 and Windsor's 170. Coronado (60) and Canon City (50) finished 11th and 12th, respectively.

"Sky's the limit with him," Cheyenne Mountain coach Tyler Seaney said about Gagliardi. "We're excited to see what he'll put together. I think he'll put his name out in this sport."

Last year the Indians finished 10th in the team standings. This year Cheyenne Mountain had nine state qualifiers - which featured only two seniors, meaning the Indians will return seven sophomores and juniors.

Chase Johnson finished in fourth place at 120, Kevin Hooks took fifth at 145 and Rudy Juvera placed sixth at 152 to go along with Gagliardi's state finals run.

Gagliardi finished the season 37-7.

"We got a couple medals out of some guys who we didn't necessarily anticipate getting medals out of," Seaney said. "So I'm just really happy with the way they performed."

The Indians have a lot to look forward to.

"We learned a lot about Nico and not to underestimate what he can do," said Seaney. "He's very talented. He's a hardworking kid. He's so humble. That's the part where people will underestimate him. He listens well and he's very polite. It's not your stereotypical mindset. He approaches it once match a time and is always looking to do better."


Chhun Sun is a sports reporter with an emphasis in preps. He joined The Gazette in April 2015 and covered public safety for three years before joining @gazettepreps staff. The Thailand-born Cambodian-American has been in journalism for nearly two decades.

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