An outdoor wrestling match? In November? In Colorado? Seems crazy, right? Well, not for Air Academy and Doherty, which competed in the Pikes Peak region’s first outdoor dual Wednesday to kick off their 2018-19 wrestling seasons. Doherty walked away with a convincing 43-29 victory over the Kadets.
“Colleges have been doing this for a while, and ThunderRidge and Douglas County did it a number of years ago. It has always kind of been in the back of my mind and (Doherty) coach (Josh) Galvan was all about it,” host Air Academy coach Nate Hill said. “We did a lot of setup and there was a lot of thought that went into it, making sure safety came first but temperatures looked good, it got a little bit cold at the end, but we got lucky with the weather.”
The match started with sunshine and blue skies on an unusually warm late November day, but midway through the wind kicked up and the temperature dropped, forcing wrestlers to concentrate on a heavier warm-up routine.
“We knew the weather was going to turn bad the second half of the lineup so we told the guys, wherever you start, if you’re halfway through the lineup you have to make sure you’re warmed up really good because we would hate to start the season with injuries,” Galvan said.
Doherty collected five pins including a run of four straight falls by the Spartans’ middle weights. Galvan said freshman OJ Moore’s win at 152 pounds over Air Academy’s Ryan O’Conner was a pleasant surprise.
“We knew he was a good wrestler but we didn't have huge expectations. But he came out and wrestled a great match so we’re really proud of that,” Galvan said. “We’re missing a couple of our middleweights and a lightweight right now so it was a nice surprise for us to see some of our younger guys step up.”
Nate Tracy (145 pounds), Tyson Beauperthuy (160), Logan Maslonik (195) and Jackson Webber (285) also won by fall. Doherty’s Joey Shaw earned a technical fall at 138.
Air Academy’s Ben Haddod (120), Cole Eck (22) and Kalman Adams (170) pinned their opponents, while Brady Badwound won by a technical fall at 182.
“We have a lot of young guys this year and a lot of guys stepping in. We have some injuries going right now but I like how my kids fought,” Hill said. “We are going to grow and learn from this and be a lot better at the end of the season than we are right now.”
GIRLS’ SWIMMING AND DIVING
Pine Creek 125, Doherty 61
At Doherty: Doherty and Pine Creek checked off a number of state-qualifying times in their first meet of the season while Pine Creek earned a quick dual meet win.
Both 200 medley relay teams earned state-qualifying times with Pine Creek winning the race in 2:02.31 off a team comprised of Kennedy Terry, Dom Cos, Anne Rutecki and Olivia Crews. The Spartans (Ella Adler, Abby Hutcheon, Ana Rojas and Jordan Edner) were not far behind in 2:02.86.
Doherty’s Adler won two individual races in the 200 (2:10.50) and 100 (59.64) freestyle races. Rojas also won two individual events, touching the wall first in the 50 free and 100 back. Both of her times, 24.76 and 1:01.50, respectively, met state-qualifying requirements.
Pine Creek’s Cos won the 200 IM (2:23.25) and the 100 breaststroke (1:11.66). Her time in the breaststroke was good for state qualifying. Pine Creek’s Kennedy Terry’s first-place finish in the 500 free (5:30.76) was also state qualifying, and teammate Audrey Teets scored a 228.35 to win the diving competition and qualify for state.
Chatfield 62, Liberty 55
At Mountain Vista: A slow second quarter doomed the Lancers as Chatfield was able to gain some momentum and hang on for a first-round Mountain Vista/Rock Canyon tournament win.
Liberty held a one-point lead heading into the second quarter, but scored just nine points before the half, allowing the Chargers to earn a three-point lead. Chatfield outscored Liberty 35-31 in the second half to lock in the win.
Vista Ridge 72, Mountain View 41
At Mountain View: The Wolves scored in double digits as Vista Ridge earned a convincing season-opening win.
Payton Kaiser led Visa Ridge with 22 points — including five 3-pointers — followed by Julius Dowell with 11, and Trey Fowler and Tyler Edwards had 10 each.
Sophomore MJ Frazier led the team with eight rebounds and also had two steals. Dowell led the team with three takeaways.
St. Mary’s 82, SkyView Academy 38
At St. Mary's: Luke Stockelman and Eddy Ferrara led the Pirates with 14 points each as St. Mary’s opened the season with a dominant win over SkyView Academy.
St. Mary’s scored 35 points in the first quarter before a scoreless second. The Pirates then tacked on 47 points in the second half.
Freshman Sam Howery scored 12 points for the Pirates, followed by Gabe Calhoun with 10. Howery also led the team with six steals, while Stockelman, Dom Hartman and Ferrara had five each.
Rock Canyon 87, Rampart 25
At Mountain Vista: Rampart fell to Rock Canyon in the first round of the Mountain Vista/ Rock Canyon tournament.
Lincoln 89, Falcon 67
Pueblo Centennial 81, Canon City 77
Doherty 69, Vista PEAK Prep 60
Fort Collins 46, Liberty 35
At Fort Collins: Liberty started strong, holding a one-point lead over Fort Collins after the first quarter, but the Lancers didn’t find the net much more through the second and third quarters, scoring just 11 points total through the middle frames.
Fort Collins had 13 steals against Liberty.
Pueblo West 61, Sierra 35
At Sierra: After a low-scoring first quarter Pueblo West found its groove, outscoring Sierra 54-31 the rest of the way.
Canon City 46, Falcon 36
At Canon City: Canon City played a consistent game against Falcon to earn a comfortable season-opening win. The Tigers scored 13, 12, and 11 points through the final three frames, respectively, to take down the Falcons.
Highland 47, Peyton 36
At Highland: Highland broke open in the second half, outscoring Peyton 29-17 in the final two quarters.
Pueblo Central 47, Lewis-Palmer 26