Battle Mountain’s Morales in the hunt for the podium
DENVER — This wrestling thing’s a lot easier when you don’t have the flu.
Battle Mountain’s Freddy Morales made it to the Final Four of the 4A state wrestling tournament at 126 pounds.
Entering at 38-4, Morales started his quest late Thursday night by downing Valor Christian’s Brennan Veen, 8-1. And Friday morning, Morales, in his second appearance at the big show, took down Windsor’s Josh Villa, 6-2. Villa was the 4A state champ at 113 pounds last year, so that’s a big-time win for Morales.
The combination of state experience and health — Morales went 2-and-out last year, while wrestling with the flu — seems to be paying off.
Morales, now 40-4, fell to Pueblo County’s Chris Sandoval on Friday night in the semifinals. Regardless, Morales will be Battle Mountain wrestling’s first on the podium at a state tournament since 2000.
At 170, Battle Mountain’s Hector Aguirre had a rough go in his maiden voyage at state, losing by a technical fall to Pueblo County’s Dante Garcia. Aguirre fell to Valor Christian’s Easton Cecil, 4-1, in the consolation bracket.
Eagle Valley’s Devin Ward seems to be in a hurry at the 3A state tournament.
The Devils 182-pounder pinned Sheridan’s Aaron Apadaca in 24 seconds on Friday morning to make the state semifinals.
With a 35-second pin in the first round on Thursday, Ward’s been on the mat for all of 59 seconds so far and is two matches from a title. Ward was scheduled to take on Florence’s Lane Masar in Friday night’s semifinals.
At 120, the Devils Noah Hermosillo suffered a late fall against Sheridan’s Homero Navarro. The sophomore met up with Sterling’s Jacob Breidenbach later on Friday in the consolation bracket. Hermosillo topped the Sterling wrestler in the Region 4 championship match last weekend, but Breidenbach got his revenge in a 4-2 decision at the Pepsi Center.
Raul Lopez, at 126 pounds, seems to be Eagle Valley’s tough-luck case, dropping out of the state tournament after a 7-6 loss to Florence’s Ty Addington. Lopez lost two matches by a total of three points at state.
At 132, Trever LaFramboise bowed to Sheridan’s Anthony Contreraz and is done. Both Lopez and LaFramboise are sophomores, though, and should be back.
At 220, Xavier Mendoza was pinned by Fort Lupton’s Jacob Ornelas. Mendoza bounced back nicely to decision Zachari Little of Sterling in wrestle-backs.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.