DENVER - In the name of family and for the hopes of sweet, sweet gold, Air Academy's Jason Hanenberg and Discovery Canyon's Jared Turner flipped and pretzeled their opponents in a pair of dominating performances on the first day of the state wrestling tournament.
For two seniors from powerful wrestling kin, a collision-course meet-up may not be far behind.
Hanenberg and Turner moved forward in the Class 4A 132-pound bracket Thursday evening under the bright lights at the Pepsi Center - the Kadets senior pinned Lewis-Palmer's Max Voshage in 4 minutes and 51 seconds and Turner followed on the same mat with a stick of Falcon's Raymond Mendoza in 3:08.
If the two win their second-round matches Friday afternoon, they'd meet in the semifinals later that night. Both are eager to add a welcome chapter to their family legacy.
"I want to improve on my family name," the Kadets senior said after pushing his record to 29-3 on the season. "We've been very close."
The Hanenberg bloodline has been a mainstay at state over a handful of years. Jason, a four-year qualifier, is the younger brother of Tyler Hanenberg, a former Air Academy wrestler, and the cousin of fellow-senior Zac Hanenberg, who won his first match in 145s for Canon City.
All three Hanenbergs have come just short of gold, though. Jason looked to be on his way last year after he took second as a sophomore, but he fought through sickness and settled for fourth.
"His goal is one match at a time," said Jason's father, Pete Hanenberg. "Last year he was very sick and didn't have a great tournament. So, he wants to stay healthy and take it one at a time, but his ultimate goal is to take first. He's had that since he was a freshman."
The Thunder senior is also looking for his first state title and the fifth for the Turner siblings. Former Discovery Canyon wrestler Steve Turner won once and Sam Turner was a three-time winner.
"I'm different than my brothers and I distinguish myself in other ways," Jared said. "Wrestling has not always been the biggest aspect for me but having both of my brothers cheering me on every single day, calling me after every match, is big for me.
"Everyone in my family is so pumped to watch me wrestle here and have my last chance to join the Turner name."
The state tournament included 109 wrestlers from the Pikes Peak region at the outset.
By night's end, many had been bounced from championship contention and will direct their attention to the consolation side of the brackets. Others, meanwhile, took one step closer to gold.
- Discovery Canyon got off to a quick start with wins from Jett Strickenberger (106), Darian Palacio (113), Patrick Allis (120), Jaden Porreco (126), Turner (132) and Dylan Ruane (145). The Thunder, tied for fourth in the 4A standings, got wins in six of their seven first-round matches.
Allis said the Thunder have benefited from such a talented lightweight group this season.
"I wrestle with Jaden Porreco every day, and he pushes me every day," the junior said. "It's nice to have a partner that will push you until you're uncomfortable."
- Pine Creek's Garrett Niel won with a pin in 1:03. Niel won the 182 title as a sophomore but placed third in 170s last year.
- It was the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat for Lewis-Palmer's Hunt brothers. Tanner Hunt pinned Air Academy's James Benson in 113s, while younger brother, Skyler, tied his 106 match at 7-7 in the third period, but fell in an 11-7 decision.
- Cheyenne Mountain is eighth in 4A despite not having 220-pounder Deonte Bridges, who missed the tournament with an injury. Mesa Ridge's Dominick Fini and Michael True won in 220s and 285s to close the night for Mesa Ridge, which is ninth.
- KJ Kearns, who took second last year, won by pin in 145s for Coronado. Zach Szostak won by decision for Doherty in 152s.
- Florence, TCA, Manitou Springs and Woodland Park all scored points in 3A competition.