Five Lewis-Palmer High School wrestlers qualified for this weekend’s state tournament to lead a strong field of Tri-Lakes area athletes.
Senior Dom Knost (heavyweight) claimed the Rangers’ lone championship at last weekend’s Class 4A regional at Lewis-Palmer.
Other Rangers finishing in the top four were junior Skyler Hunt (113, second), junior Jake Martin (170, second), junior Cole Stephenson (138, third) and senior Charlie Cook (195, fourth).
Lewis-Palmer took fifth as a team behind Pueblo County, Cheyenne Mountain, Mesa Ridge and Coronado.
“All of our guys are capable of placing in the top six at state,” said first-year Lewis-Palmer coach Cole Jackson.
Knost, Hunt, Stephenson and Cook are all making their second state appearances. Martin, who began his career at Palmer Ridge, is making his first trip to state.
“I tell my guys, ‘Don’t let this opportunity go to waste,’” Jackson said. “You have to wrestle hard for six minutes. Do everything you can for six minutes.”
The state tournament takes place Thursday through Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Every wrestler is guaranteed at least two matches (two days) of wrestling.
Lewis-Palmer’s last state champion was Dan Barringer in 2010. He later wrestled for the Air Force Academy.
Discovery Canyon senior Patrick Allis (126) won his regional championship and will be trying to repeat as a state champion. He won last year at 120.
Discovery Canyon hosted its 4A regional and qualified four wrestlers for the big show. Also claiming a regional title for the Thunder was Dylan Ruane (145).
Other Discovery Canyon wrestlers headed to state are Tanner Sukle (152, third) and Andrew Keegan (170, fourth).
The Classical Academy qualified five grapplers for the 3A state event: Brendan Johnston (106), Aiden Johnston (113), Liam Young (160), Nathan Johns (182) and Jason Alexander (195).
Aiden Johnston won his regional title by defeating Brandon Boehm of Florence, 6-3. Johns won his regional championship with a 3-2 decision over Nick Wellen of Brush.