Basalt wrestler wins regionals
The Aspen Times
Basalt’s Olmer Marquez is a regional champion.
Olmer, a junior at Basalt High School, wrestled his way to a regional championship and spot in BHS wrestling history.
Marquez is the first regional champion for Basalt since the prep wresting program was revived three years ago under head coach Ryan Bradley.
Wrestling in the 220-pound bracket, Marquez powered through the regional tournament, which was held at Montrose High School.
His title earned him a trip to the prestigious State Wrestling Championships at the Pepsi Center in Denver, starting on Thursday.
He will be joined by teammate Luis Ruiz, who finished fourth at regionals in the 132-pound division.
Basalt senior Nolan Jones just missed qualifying for state when he finished fifth at Montrose.
“Nolan Jones missed going to state by one match after having an incredible tournament performance,” Bradley said.
In the first round, Jones defeated Coal Ridge junior Lane Nelson, winning by pin in the third period.
Jones then lost to eventual champion Issik Herod of Moffat County.
Basalt’s Jones defeated Colten Crawford of Steamboat Springs with a pin early in the third period.
“He defeated several opponents who had previously beaten him during the regular season,” Bradley said.
He finished one spot short of the top four, with those four advancing to the 16-wrestler field at state in their weight bracket.
Basalt’s Ruiz finished fourth and qualified for state after falling to Dalton Lucero of Pagosa Springs in the semifinals (15-6).
But Ruiz came back in the consolation semifinals against Grand Valley’s Kolton Rebel with a first-period pin (1:47).
Ruiz eventually lost the third-place match to Eagle Valley’s Trevor LaFramboise but earned his trip to state.
“Olmer Marquez gave his best performance of the season winning the tournament at 220 pounds,” Bradley said.
He pinned his way into the finals with wins over Pagosa Springs and Delta.
He faced Xavier Mendoza of Eagle Valley in the championship match at 220.
“He had previously won a close match earlier in the season in the finals of the Eagle Valley Tournament,” Bradley said. “But this time the match was not close. Marquez dominated the match in every position to score a 12-5 decision over Mendoza.”
With the win, Marquez improved his individual season record to 23-3. He was seeded third in the state 220-pound bracket in Class 3A.
He will wrestle Greydon Mondragon (29-12) a senior from La Junta, in the first round at state Thursday.
The top seed in the 3A 220-pound bracket is Jacob Ornelas of Fort Lupton (31-4), a senior.
The No. 2 seed in the bracket is Strasburg senior Shane Coombs (42-0).
Ruiz will head to state with a 25-16 individual record.
As a No. 16 seed, Ruiz will face No. 1 seed Ruben Lucero of Valley (36-1). He’s a senior.
The No. 2 seed at 132 pounds in Class 3A is unbeaten Sage Budd of Mead (42-0).
The State Wrestling Championships, Colorado’s largest high-school state championship event, will open Thursday morning at the Pepsi Center in Denver with multiple mats used.
All school classifications will compete for their respective state championships at the three-day state finals.
Bracket semifinals are held Friday night.
The state championship matches will be held Saturday night.
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