Salazar wins in AZ
Written by: Joel Priest
Wolverines host IHS, DHS tonight
By Joel Priest
Times sports correspondent
Bragging rights in La Plata County will be on the mat tonight.
Class 4A Durango and Class 2A Ignacio will join 3A Bayfield on the mat inside BHS Gymnasium this evening (6 p.m. start) for a La Plata County-wide triangular, with all squads coming off solid outings last weekend—DHS third at the two-day Payson [Ariz.] Invitational, Bob Overturf’s Bobcats tenth at last Saturday’s Screaming Eagle Invitational in Paonia, and Herb Stinson’s Wolverines….
Posted another top-five finish at an Arizona event, coming in fourth at the 23rd annual Sand Devil Classic in Page with two individual champs leading the way. Readers and watchers can likely guess one, but the other, well…it’s probably safe to say he’d waited a while for a weekend like what he experienced.
Senior Sonny Salazar made it from the far left to the far right of the 106-pounders’ bracket and imposed his will practically at will on his final opponent— 3A wrestler Wryder Richards of Lakeside, Ariz. in a technical-fall rout. Salazar also copped the ‘Cujo’ Award by proverbially showing his chops and feasting heartily each time in his 3-0 run.
And Aaron Velasquez, joining his classmate in record and as Outstanding Wrestler (lower, upper weights) picks, pinned Grant Huber of 5A Mountain View [Mesa, AZ] to win at 162. Back to his regular in-Colorado 160, Velasquez’s weight should be a prime focal point for fans tonight, with DHS’ Dakota Sutherlin and IHS’ Teagan Overturf (possibly, see below) in the mix.
Durango’s Matthew Lavengood, who scrapped through ten matches in Payson and won nine, will also be an eye-catcher at 106 when he stands in against Salazar. Bayfield’s Matt Eckstein, 2-1, powered his way to second place at heavyweight in Page, and will likely get a match against odds-on 4A State favorite Trevor Gillen of DHS (still undefeated after a 10-for-10 trip to Payson).
BHS’ Drake Rhodes took fourth at 120 at the SDC, and likely will face off against Demon Clay Dillon (7-2 at Payson) and/or Bobcat Iaasic Pena, the latter unavailable for the SEI. Joe Zink also helped push Bayfield towards the top of the Page pile with a fourth-place showing at 138 pounds, and Colter McMenimen came in fifth at 113. Allec Rodriguez finished sixth at 126 pounds, as did Jon Roberts at 182.
PRIMO IN PAGE: 108—SONNY SALAZAR, BAYFIELD; 115—Dusty Hone, Cedar City; 122—William Maxson, Horizon; 128—Octavio Penunuri, MV; 134—Kolby Lloyd, Cedar City; 140—Brad Lindsay, Flagstaff; 147—Seth Monty, MV; 154—Samson Imonode, Horizon; 162—AARON VELASQUEZ, BAYFIELD; 172—Garrett Ryan, Horizon; 184—Austin Gaun, Flagstaff; 197—Cameron Williamson, Cedar City; 220—Curtis Bulloch, Snow Canyon, UT; Hwt—Kahi Eldredge, Cedar City.
PAGE ‘HEADLINERS’: 1.Mountain View 210; 2.Cedar City, UT 209.5; 3.Canyon View [Cedar City], UT 170; 4.BAYFIELD 157.5; 5.Horizon [Scottsdale, 5A] 155.5; 6.Blue Ridge 140; 7.4A Flagstaff 138; 8.3A Snow Canyon, UT 128.5; 9.4A Prescott 97; 10.North Canyon [Phoenix, 5A] 49.5.
PAYOUT FROM PAONIA: Ignacio senior Alex Peña went 4-0 in winning the 126-pound title at the Screaming Eagle, stopping FHS’ Zach DuVall 6-3 in the finale. Pena had pinned the Grizzly in the third period the night before at the Paonia Mixed Duals. Overturf went 4-1 and took third place at 160 after a default from Antonito’s Joey Gallegos.
Overturf was moved up a division after working the dual versus FHS at his normal 152 pounds, and may be back at that weight tonight. Also placing for IHS—which had just five wrestlers available, but mustered 72.5 points—at the 19-team event was senior 195-pounder Colton Wyatt, who went 2-1 and took second after a slim 7-6 loss to Norwood’s Jaron Ragsdale at the end of the seven-man bracket.
All SJBL teams attended, with Dove Creek (3rd, 157.5) placing the highest. Center (111.5) and Cedaredge (93.5) rounded out the top five, with Custer County [Westcliffe; 84], Norwood (81), Merino (76.5) and Meeker (73.5) filling out the top ten.
Ignacio will host its annual Butch Melton Invitational tomorrow, starting around 9 a.m.