Four Basalt wrestlers qualify for state |

Four Basalt wrestlers qualify for state

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

BASALT – Four wrestlers from Basalt High School will hit the mats this week at the annual CHSAA State Wrestling Championships in Denver.

The four Longhorns qualified for the state tournament with their finishes last weekend at the Class 3A Regionals in Grand Valley.

Cousins Ruben and Hector Chagoya fiinished second in their respective divisions for the Longhorns. Ruben Chagoya was second at 145 pounds; Hector Chaga was second at 120.

Senior captain Edwin Meraz finished third in the regional tournament in the 126-pound bracket.

Basalt freshman Olmer Marquez placed third in the 195-pound bracket at Grand Valley.

The top four wrestlers in each division qualified for the state championships, which will open Thursday afternoon at the Pepsi Center.

Wrestling in all school classifications will continue with quarterfinals and semifinals Friday and the consolation and championship matches Saturday.

Hector Chagoya, a Basalt junior, pinned his way into the 120-pound finals where he lost a decision to Trenton Piatt of Olathe. Chagoya is 22-6 this year.

He will be matched against junior Brian Follett of Colorado Springs Christian (26-12) in the opening round of the state championships.

Cousin Ruben also scored a series of early pins to reach the 145-pound regional final against Joe Boyle of Hotchkiss. Boyle edged Chagoya 7-6 for the regional title.

Ruben Chagoya (17-5) will wrestle senior Anthony Potter of Clear Creek (22-5) in Thursday’s opening round.

Meraz created the most drama at the Class 3A Regionals, starting with his opening match, according to Basalt head coach Ryan Bradley.

Trailing Zack Odell of Gunnison by two points with 15 seconds left in the match, Meraz scored a dramatic reversal and was awarded one penalty point for a one-point victory.

After a loss to Ben Pridy of Olathe, Meraz beat Ty Morton of Cedaredge 5-3 in overtime to advance to the third-place match. He wrestled Odell again, dominating 9-3.

Marquez recorded three consecutive pins last weekend, including a pin of No. 7-ranked Connor Jennings of Middle Park (Granby). He will take a 22-7 record to the state tournament and an opening-round match against junior Oscar Maraz of Trinidad (22-12).

In other results last weekend, junior Ivan Loya finished fifth at 132 and senior Alejandro Talavera placed sixth at 160.

“It was a great end of season performance,” said Bradley, who heads the volunteer wrestling coaches at Basalt High School, where varsity wrestling is back after a 10-year hiatus.

“This week, our goal is to have several kids finish in the top six at state and earn state medals,” Bradley said.

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