Seven area wrestlers advance to state finals in Denver

0
Photo - The Classical Academy's Andrew Register wrestles Pablo Ortiz in their 138-pound match during the first round of the 3A Colorado State Wrestling Tournament Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Register lost to Ortiz.  (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

The Classical Academy's Andrew Register wrestles Pablo Ortiz in their 138-pound match during the first round of the 3A Colorado State Wrestling Tournament Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Register lost to Ortiz. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

DENVER — On the state’s biggest stage, Discovery Canyon wrestler Patrick Allis’ victory celebration was relatively mild.
There was no jumping around or screaming.
After he topped Mountain View’s Malachi Contreras with a 12-2 major decision in the 120-pound semifinals of the Class 4A state tournament on Friday night, he turned to the crowd and flexed his muscles.
That was it.
He knew he had more to do, even after the Discovery Canyon senior became one of six area wrestlers to advance to Class 5A or 4A title matches at the Pepsi Center. The championship matches begin 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
“I put in a bunch of work in this year with same goal to not finish second again,” said Allis, who was a runner-up at last year’s state tournament. “I don’t want that again.”
He will face Windsor's Vance VomBaur in the title match.
Air Academy’s Jason Hanenberg (132), Cheyenne Mountain’s Mike McFadden (138), Canon City’s Zac Hanenberg (145), Mesa Ridge’s Elijah Valdez (152), and Mesa Ridge’s Mike True (285) also ended Friday with semifinal wins.
Valdez won in dramatic fashion, overcoming a one-point, third-period deficit to pin his opponent, Tony Ulaszek of Greeley Central, in the final seconds.
“I praise God for the opportunity to do it again,” Valdez said, alluding to his second-place state finish last year at 145.
With two wrestlers in the finals, Mesa Ridge sits in fourth place in the 4A team standings with 62.5 points. Pueblo East in the lead with 150 points, followed by Pueblo County’s 127 and Windsor’s 115.
Canon City advanced one wrestler to the championship match to earn 52.5 points, enough for sixth place.
Wrestlers who came up short in 4A included Discovery Canyon’s Jett Strickenberger (106), Falcon’s Kenneth Crosby (106), Canon City’s James Ruona (126), Cheyenne Mountain’s Kevin Hooks (145), Widefield’s Elijah Whatley (145), Air Academy’s Brady Badwound (160), Pine Creek’s Garrett Niel (182), Widefield’s John Underwood (182), Cheyenne Mountain’s Cian Quiroga (195) and Mesa Ridge’s Dominick Fini (220).
In 5A, Coronado’s Angel Flores (126) and KJ Kearns (145) lost in their respective semifinals matches.
Kearns suffered a stunning defeat, as he was down 2-0, then went up 3-2 before he lost 5-3 in extra time to Grand Junction’s Dylan Martinez.
Class 2A/3A
The Classical Academy’s Nathan Johns earned redemption Friday night.
The junior wrestler won his 182-pound semifinals match with a 9-2 decision over Moffat County’s Elias Peroulis at the Pepsi Center during the Class 3A state tournament.
"It is great to see Nathan, a three-sport athlete, reach the pinnacle in wrestling," said TCA coach Sean Collins, "even though he doesn't compete in just one sport year round." 
Johns gets another chance after he lost his 3A title match last year by a narrow 3-2 margin.
He became the lone wrestler from the Pikes Peak region in the lower classifications to advance to a title match.
Elsewhere in 2A and 3A, Woodland Park’s Zach Dooley (106), Florence’s Logan Kenline (160), Calhan’s Brayden Dillingham (220) fell just short and lost their respective semifinal matches.