Huskies grapplers top Steamboat | VailDaily.com

Huskies grapplers top Steamboat

In his match against Steamboat Springs’ Donald Dillon Thursday night, the 140-pounder was struggling until Dillon drilled Serna’s left shoulder into the mat.

Serna winced. The crowd groaned, but the pile-drive move had done the trick.

“That woke Rudy up. If it hadn’t happened, who knows how the match would have ended up. That woke him up,” Huskies coach Jason Dutton said. “That’s the way he needs to wrestle every time. It’s not good to have something like that wake him up, but it did wake him up and the match didn’t last long.”

That would be 1 minute, 28 seconds to be exact – and just 22 seconds after Serna’s shoulder slammed into the mat. Serna picked up six points for the pin and the Huskies started to roll to a 42-15 win over the visiting Sailors.

Serna’s pin gave Battle Mountain an 18-6 lead at the time, as Adam Garcia and Jason Woolley had earned forfeits. Chris Salazar just needed 1:07 to put Steamboat’s Walker Hammond on his back. And, then, the Huskies’ Zac Rice followed with a 54-second pin of Vince Grippa at 160.

“Zac is a powerful kid. He does really well against kids he can overpower,” Dutton said. “We’re just getting him more experience each and every time and trying to get him a wider array of moves so he doesn’t have to rely on his power so much.”

Battle Mountain’s Chris Sandoval showed plenty of power at 103 pounds. He shut down Andy Morell in 3:07. Huskies junior Fran Saucedo finished off the mat with a pin of Kelly Chambers in 32 seconds.

The win was a good tonic for the Huskies, who earlier in the evening had fallen to Delta 69-6. Rice picked up Battle Mountain’s lone win with a forfeit at 152 pounds.

Next up for the Huskies is the Eagle Valley Invitational Saturday and, according to Dutton, the No. 1 priority will be conditioning.

“I’m just not happy with our conditioning. It’s really bad,” the coach said. “I think we’ve dropped off more than most as far as where we’re at before Christmas. We didn’t wrestle very well. Delta’s a very good team, but we didn’t help ourselves out.”

The matches start at 9 a.m. So set your alarm clock accordingly, Rudy.

Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at cfreud@vaildaily.com.