Basalt’s Olmer Marquez wins tournament title
The Aspen Times
Basalt High School wrestler Olmer Marquez reached the top of the podium last weekend at the annual Eagle Valley Wrestling Tournament.
Marquez won the tournament title in the 220-pound weight classification, topping a pair of state-ranked wrestlers in the process.
“Olmer Marquez was on a mission for the title,” Basalt wrestling coach Ryan Bradley said.
In the tournament semifinals, Marquez was matched up against North Park’s Adrian Cereceres, ranked No. 5 in the state in his classification.
The two had wrestled previously with Cereceres pulling out a 4-2 win over Marquez in the semifinals of the West Grand Tournament.
“This time, he pinned him at the start of the second period,” Bradley said of Marquez’s pinfall victory.
That win sent Marquez into the championship match against Eagle Valley senior Xavier Mendoza.
Bradley said the title match was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation.
“In overtime, Mendoza advanced with heavy pressure, and Marquez shot a perfectly timed double leg to take him down and win the tournament,” Bradley said.
Also in the varsity tournament at Eagle Valley, Basalt senior Luis Ruiz placed fourth in his division. He was leading 6-2 in the third period when he was caught up and pinned by Soroco’s Lane Martindale.
Basalt also had junior Jack Huggard competing in the 170-pound division, Trent Honken at 128 and Nolan Jones at 132.
”Jack Huggard had perhaps the toughest bracket of the tournament with several returning state qualifiers,” Bradley said. He ended up losing a double-overtime match to Hotchkiss’ Parker Katzdorn, who finished third in the tournament.
The traditionally tough Eagle Valley tournament attracted a big field of Western Slope teams. Participants included Battle Mountain, Buena Vista, Coal Ridge, Eagle Valley, Grand Junction JV, Grand Junction Central, Lake County, Middle Park, Hotchkiss, Summit, Rifle, Steamboat Springs, West Grand, North Park, Grand Valley and Soroco (Oak Creek).
Bradley said Basalt took a large contingent of freshmen and sophomores to the junior varsity tournament at Eagle Valley.
He said the wrestlers gained experience before the final half of the season.
The Longhorns had three second-place finishers and one champion in the JV tourney.
Freshman Alex Alberto, who placed fourth at the varsity West Grand Invitational, rolled to the JV tourney title last week at 145 pounds.
“Freshman Oswaldo Morales, who had placed second at the varsity West Grand Tournament, finished second in the Eagle Valley JV tournament,” Bradley said.
Basalt junior Cristian Joya was second at 220 pounds. He had placed third at the West Grand varsity event before Christmas.
BHS freshman William Rivera finished second posting a 4-1 record on the day and avenging some earlier season losses.
Freshmen Thomas Wirth (152), Henry Vargas (106), Cooper Braun (120) and sophomore Daniel Barnes (120) all missed placing in the tournament by one match.
“Overall, it was a great tournament for the younger wrestlers,” Bradley said. “They gained experience and showed that they could compete solidly at the JV level. “
The Basalt High School wrestling team will travel to Salida on Friday for a dual.
Then, on Saturday, the Longhorns will wrestle in the Rob Mickel Tournament at Salida High School.
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Keegan Swirbul was set to carry on with his nomadic career this summer with Ljubljana Gusto Santic, a professional cycling team based out of Slovenia