Cruz keeps title hopes alive in 3 OTs
Mesa Ridge senior Deric Cruz can still defend his state title after he narrowly escaped the first round of the Class 4A 195-pound bracket, beating Pine Creek's Andrew Transtrum in three overtimes.
Not quite the start Cruz was looking for in his quest for another gold. "But a win is a win," he said.
Cruz and Transtrum went into overtime tied 1-1. And it was just 2-2 before Cruz finally ended the match in the third session with an escape in the opening seconds.
Cruz, who was an underdog when he won gold in 2016, realizes he was nearly on the other side of things on Thursday.
"No records matter here," Cruz said. "Coming in here everyone is even."
Cruz will face Fredrickson's Jake Longstreth in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Holmes and Lee hoping to go deep for Peyton
Peyton is hoping to double its fortune at the state tournament.
Last season's 138-pound champ Britton Holmes (145 pounds this season) and state title-hopeful Wyatt Lee (152) both got out of the first round with early pins as the Panthers pushed three of their eight wrestlers into the 2A quarterfinals.
Peyton coach Ed Holmes said he expects Britton and Lee to reach Saturday's finals.
"That's definitely what we expect," he said.
Luke Manly (182) was the only other wrestler to get through for the Panthers with a 4-0 decision.
"There was at least two more matches that we thought we should have won," Ed Holmes said. "We just didn't finish."
Britton, meanwhile, didn't waste much time wrapping up his bout as he stuck Dolores Huerta's Joaquin Martinez in 48 seconds.
Afterward, Britton said he has an even greater focus than last year when he won the program's first and only title.
"Winning the first one was just taking it a match at a time," he said. "I'm the same with this one but probably 10 times more focused."
Quarterfinals in 2A start Friday at 9:30 a.m. Semifinals for all classifications are later that night, starting at 7:15.
Teams in the hunt
Cheyenne Mountain sent seven of 12 state qualifiers into the quarterfinals and finished the first day of the tournament in fourth place in 4A with 25 points.
Cañon City is sixth (17.5) and Discovery Canyon is seventh (17).
In 5A, Coronado sent five of its seven wrestlers into the quarters and is fifth (18) after Day 1.
Peyton is tied for 10th in 2A.