Win at Old Chicago Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament has Windsor wrestling looking ahead to state
December 16, 2017
Loveland — Though it's only December, the Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament has a lot of wrestlers looking ahead to February.
More specifically: the state tournament.
The NCCT serves as a measuring stick to see how wrestlers across the state match up, and what they need to improve.
It also gives them a taste of what to expect if they do make it to the Pepsi Center at the end of the season.
"It's run like state," Windsor junior 113-pounder Will VomBaur said. "It's multiple days, you weigh in more than once and there's a big crowd. You just get pumped up."
If Friday and Saturday are any indication of things to come, the rest of the state should be scared.
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Windsor took home the team title with 230.5 points — 16.5 ahead of second-place Pueblo East — aided by individual championships from VomBaur and sophomore 170-pounder Isaiah Salazar.
The Wizards had seven other wrestlers find their way onto the podium — including Vance VomBaur finishing second and Cody Eaton (152) and Victor Bravo (285) bringing home bronze finishes.
"It's awesome," Salazar said. "It's what coach wanted from the beginning. To win this and state."
What's even scarier is how the Wizards did it. They were without Dominick Serrano (concussion), and had a handful of other Wizard wrestlers struggle uncharacteristically early on.
"We had a rough couple first rounds," Will VomBaur said. "We did pretty good with what we had, but I know it could've been better."
Only those inside the Windsor wrestling room really know how good this team can be, but they plan on letting the rest of Colorado know by the end of the season.
"It's great. But it's not really what we're after," VomBaur said of winning the NCCT. "We're chasing the state title. We'll celebrate tonight, then we'll start practice Monday and get ready for state."
The state tournament is two months away, and the Wizards, admittedly, have a long way to go.
"We gotta keep working hard, being better than we were the week before and just move on," Salazar said.
The Wizards are done for 2017 before welcoming in the new year with a dual against Roosevelt on Jan. 3. And while state may be on the minds of the wrestlers, coach Monte Trusty is focused more on the process, trusting the results will fall in place.
"If our guys are all wrestling to what they are capable of, then we have a pretty special team," Trusty said.
Holding it down for Weld
This is only the third time since this tournament started in 2000 that a Weld County school has won.
The Wizards accomplished the feat one other time in 2005, and Northridge took home the title in 2007.
One for the little guys
Though Eaton took home the small school title, Valley's Jaziah Whaley was the only small school wrestler to bring home an individual title.
Whaley won 5-2 over Mesa Ridge's Elijah Valdez in the 152-pound final.
"Coming into this tournament, it's almost as big as state," Whaley said. "It's all the wrestlers from state. It means a lot to win this."
The sophomore pinned three of his six opponents and won by tech fall in another.
"It's just huge," Whaley said. "It's a great confidence booster and it's good motivation. One win doesn't mean anything, though. You gotta keep working if you want to be at the top."
And one for the boys back home
Central's Josh Nira was the lone Greeley wrestler to top a bracket, pinning Roosevelt's Isaiah Rios in the 126-pound final to lead the Wildcats to a seventh-place finish.
"It feels pretty good," Nira said. "It just really boosts your confidence."
Pinning half of the wrestlers he faced couldn't have hurt his confidence either. Nira's closest match came in the semifinals, a 6-1 decision over Poudre's Alex Alvarez.
Giant among the meek
Eaton won the small school championship, finishing eighth with 129 points.
Jake Sandau was the only Reds wrestler in the finals, falling to Fort Morgan's Dylan McBride.
Ariel Rodriguez (138) found the podium with a fifth-place finish, and Toby Gavette (106) finished sixth.
Representing the Riders
Rios was the only Roosevelt wrestler in a championship match, suffering a quick loss to Josh Nira.
Miles Beam joined him in the championship round, pinning Kelly Walsh's (Wyo.) Kevin Anderson in the 152-pound seventh-place match.
Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament
Team Results — Windsor 230.5, Pueblo East 214, Poudre 207.5, Brighton 195, Castle View 162.5, Mesa Ridge 140.5, Greeley Central 140, Eaton 129, Kelly Walsh 124, Discovery Canyon 119.5, Valley 115.5, Canon City 115, Fort Morgan 109.5, Lakewood 103, Mountain View 96, Centauri 94, Brush 90, Cheyenne Mountain 89.5, Platte Valley 86.5m Coronado 85.5, Lewis-Palmer 83, Loveland 83, Roosevelt 79, Eaglecrest 73, Berthoud 68, Thomas Jefferson 67, Doherty 66, Horizon 63.5, Northglenn 63, Prarie View 59, Fossil Ridge 58, Legend 56.5, Air Academy 52, Conifer 51.5, Abraham Lincoln 50.5, Rawlins 48,Cherry Creek 47, Elizabeth 45, La Junta 44.5, Jefferson 43, Torrington 42, Cheyenne Central 41, Vista Peak 40, Thunder Ridge 38.5, West Jordan 37.5, Mountain Range 37, Thornton 37, Greeley West 35, Legacy 34, Longmont 33, Mullen 31, Erie 29.5, Bear Creek 25.5, Holy Family 22.5, Highland 20, Laramie 19, Cheyenne South 18, Niwot 14, Northridge 14, Palmer 14, Smoky Hill 13, Hinkley 12, Bennett 9, Saratoga 7, Wiggins 2.
Finals — 106 — Jett Strickenberger, DC (8-1) dec. Kenny Sailas, Brighton (16-1), 1-0; 113 — Will VomBaur, Windsor (15-1) dec. Adrian Marquez, CV (12-3), 1-0; 120 — Malik Heinselman, CV (18-2) dec. Vance VomBaur, W (16-1), 7-4; 126 — Josh Nira, GC (18-0) pinned Isaiah Rios, Roosevelt (14-2), 2:36; 132 — Job Greenwood, Poudre (15-0) TF Jace Trujillo, PE (9-2), 17-2; 138 — Brody Lamb, P (18-0) dec. Zeke Alirez, GC (10-1), 16-9; 145 — Jacob Greenwood, P (12-0) pinned Brandon Damian, Valley (13-1), 3:19; 152 — Jaziah Whaley, V (15-0) dec. Elijah Valdez, MR (14-1), 5-2; 160 — Gabe Dinnette, Lakewood (12-0) MD Drake Engelking, Longmont (4-1), 18-4; 170 — Isaiah Salazar, W (10-0) dec. Kai Blake, CC (16-1), 5-0; 182 — Tate Samuelson, CV (16-2) MD Zion Freeman, PE (17-2), 11-2; 195 — Dylan McBride, FM (17-0) pinned Jake Sandau, Eaton (7-3), 2:42; 220 — Deonte Bridges, CM (5-0) pinned Dominick Fini (MR) (13-1), 3:14; 285 — Hayden Still, L (11-1) dec. Michael True, MR (11-4) 7-6.
Third-place matches — 106 — Bobby Macias, TJ (17-1) dec. Caeleb Knoll, Eaglecrest (18-3), 4-3; 113 — Jarron Martinez, B (11-1) dec. Lane jackson, KW (5-2), 6-3; 120 — Vincent Fortin-Munoz, W (14-1) dec. Isaiah Gomez, LJ (8-5), 8-6; 126 — Ryan Roth, PE (12-3) won due to injury; 132 — Zander Condit, Conifer (14-1) dec. Zach Martin, Centauri (15-5), 4-2; 138 — Aaden Valdez, PE (18-3) dec. Analu Benabise, KW (7-2), 5-4; 145 — Tony Ulaszek, GC (19-1) dec. KJ Kearns, Coronado (16-2), 2-1; 152 — Cody Eaton, W (17-2) dec. Javen Palmer, KW (5-2) 3-1; 160 — Wyatt Pfau, Brush (17-2) dec. Nathan Baca, B (15-3), 2-0; 170 — Tarron Adams, B (16-2) MD Cody Sollis, GC (10-5), 10-1; 182 — Nathan Meyer, FR (10-1 dec. Josh Flanagan, V (13-2), 3-1; 195 — Braden Barker, MV (16-3) dec. Cole Yung, P (18-4), 9-2; 220 — Dominic Robles, PE (18-2) dec. James Hochanadel, FM (14-4) 3-1; 285 — Victor Bravo, W (10-2) pinned Marselino Vazquez, B (15-3), 2:20.