Eagle Valley wrestling trio in finals
Medina, Comroe and Ponce playing the waiting game
Eagle Valley wrestling’s Matthew Medina, Lucas Comroe and Cody Ponce are having the longest 24 hours of their lives right now.
Medina (106 pounds), Comroe (138) and Ponce (220) are 3-0 in their respective weight classes at the 3A state wrestling tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver. They are in their state-title matches.
And they’re waiting for 7 tonight, when the 106-pounders — that’s Medina — kick off the title bouts.
Comroe and Ponce have danced this dance before. Both made the state finals one year ago and lost title matches. It’s been driving them for a year. Medina missed state by finishing fifth at regionals, and that’s been his motivation for 53 weeks now.
Medina traveled to Denver to wrestle and his first-round opponent was a guy from Rifle, Hunter Bercher. Medina put Bercher down in 3:12 and then squeezed out a 6-4 win over Bennett’s John Faczek in the quarterfinals.
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For the semifinals, Medina scored a 9-1 major decision against Valley’s Javan Valdez. Medina gets Weld Central’s Alex Estrada tonight for the belt. Estrada is 47-0 and the No. 1 seed. That said, Medina is a rare senior in the 106-pound division — only three of the 16 who started state are seniors in this bracket. Experience does count.
Comroe is back in the finals against Valley’s Isiah Rios. If there is such a thing as a smooth path at state — there really isn’t — Comroe’s had it. The senior took care of Alameda’s Ray Martinez in 2:54 during the first round.
Comroe scored an 11-6 win over Riverdale Ridge’s Domonic Cerda and made short work of Florence’s Josh Thornton, pinning him in the semis in 1:33.
While it’s a No. 1 versus No. 2 bout at 138, Eagle Valley’s Ponce has been busting up the 220-pound bracket. Like Medina, Ponce came to Denver to face a Western Slope wrestler in the first round. Ponce pinned Delta’s Eli Miramontes in 74 seconds.
Ponce registered the upset by seed in the quarters. Not a regional champion, Ponce was No. 8 in the state bracket and he took down No. 1-ranked Drew Book, of Sterling. That was a second-period pin.
Again, it’s an upset by seed, but not the University of Maryland-Baltimore County over Virginia two springs ago. Ponce did win the Warrior Classic in December. He’s a known quantity.
Ponce did cause some cardiac moments in the semifinals. He won 3-2 by UTB — ultimate tiebreaker — over Pagosa Springs’ Skylar Hill to advance to the championship. Ponce takes on Bayfield’s John Foutz tonight — after a long wait.
The state-wrestling tournament is cruel, and five Eagle Valley wrestlers found that out Friday. Logan Stephens (113), Josh Boeke (120), Manuel Heredia (132), Jason Morrison (152) and Brian Garcia (195) were all eliminated.
As the Vail Daily went to press, Eagle Valley was in fifth place in Class 3A with 67 points behind Jefferson (88), Eaton (78.5), Valley (77.5), and Pagosa Springs (67.5).
Huskies in the hunt
As of press time, Battle Mountain’s three state qualifiers were all in the running for medals at the 4A state tourney at the Pepsi Center.
Battle Mountain heavyweight Jeremiah Vasquez pinned Lewis-Palmer’s Matthew Icke in 1:02. Vasquez lost to Andy Garcia, of Pueblo East, 5-0. The Huskies junior is wrestling back against Israel Lima of Gand Junction Central.
Victor Ortiz (152) and Anthony Sanchez (160) both lost their first-round matches but bounced back for wins and are still alive for the podium, which is the top six at state.