State wrestling update: Three in semis
February 19, 2016
DENVER — Now, this is getting serious.
Eagle County has three wrestlers who have advanced to Friday night's state semifinals at the state meet at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Eagle Valley's Noah Hermosillo (132 pounds) and Raul Lopez (138) advanced in the 3A tournament, while Battle Mountain's Wyatt Harwood is a shocker — in a good way — in the 4A 170-pound bracket.
The championship semifinals start at 7:15 p.m.
Harwood is the first Battle Mountain wrestler in 16 years to advance to the semifinals. The Huskies senior pulled a stunner on Friday morning pinning the No. 2-ranked wrester at 170, Alameda's Fabian Estrada, in 58 seconds.
Ironically, Harwood had lost to Estrada at the Abe Lincoln Tournament, the traditional dress rehearsal for regionals, by pin, so turnabout is fair play.
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Harwood, who entered state as the 10th seed, gets Andrue Rojas of Greeley Central later today in the Final Four. Rojas is ranked No. 6, but seedings apparently don't mean much at this point.
Eagle Valley's Hermosillo is in the 132-pound semis after a thrilling 7-6 double-overtime win Bennett's Garrett Miller. Hermosillo led 4-1, in the second period of the bout before Miller forced extra time at 6-6.
In the second overtime, Hermosillo chose the down position and powered his way up and out of Miller's grip for an escape and the win. Next up for Hermosillo is Lamar's Michael Johnson, who just happens to be last year's state runner up at 126 pounds.
At 138, the Devils' Lopez knocked off Berthoud's Kyler Bailey, 7-5. Lopez got a two-point takedown with 15 seconds to go in regulation to put Bailey away. Lopez faces Florence's Ty Addington tonight with a berth to the finals on the line.
Battle Mountain's Jesus Morales (132) lost his quarterfinal bout to Niwot's Tommy Stager, 5-3, on Friday morning. Morales is still in the hunt for a podium spot, though. He takes on Harrison's Godansi Bimenyimana in wrestle-backs.
The Huskies' Colin Stilson bounced back nicely from a first-round loss on Thursday night by thrashing Niwot's Alex Gazdik, 14-0. Stilson continues his quest for the podium later today against Longmont's Will Hickman.
This story will be updated with Friday night's action from the Pepsi Center.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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