DENVER - After falling short in the 220-pound championship match last year, Mesa Ridge’s Dom Fini had one goal this season - a gold medal.
Unfortunately he fell short in the semifinals, cutting his gold-medal run short. But the senior was not about to let the final match of his career be a loss - even when an injury got in the way.
Fini, who had already battled through the regular season with a hip injury, was hurt in the first minute of the bronze-medal match, but still claimed an 8-1 victory.
Fini faced Weston Holdren of Grand Junction in the third-place match, and in the first period, Holdren slammed Fini on his side, resulting in some sort of hip or muscular injury that made it difficult for him to put weight on his leg.
“I kind of hopped around on one leg,” Fini said. “He almost took me down a couple times but I had to suck it up and get a takedown. I kind of just picked him up with one leg, and that was probably the most painful thing I’ve ever done, but I knew I had to seal it.”
In addition to the injury sustained during this third-place match, Fini went through the regular season with a labral tear in his hip, which he is scheduling surgery to repair next week.
“I’ve been fighting through it the whole season, and I didn’t tell anybody because I didn’t want it to get out and have someone use it against me,” Fini said. “I didn’t want to use it as an excuse, I’m going to battle no matter what.”
Fini’s third-place finish helped push the Mesa Ridge wrestling team into fourth place heading into the finals. The Grizzlies qualified just five wrestlers, but four won medals Saturday.
After consolations the Pikes Peak region had three teams in the top 10 in Class 4A.
126 pounds: Coronado sophomore Angel Flores claimed a 6-3 decision for third place over Pikes Peak region foe Taylor Vasquez of Fountain-Fort Carson.- the duo’s second match against each other of the weekend. Flores and Vasquez battled in quarterfinals before Flores claimed a 4-3 decision. He lost his next match and entered the consolation bracket.
132 pounds: Palmer’s Dylan Owens-Hailey fell in an 8-1 decision of the 132 fifth-place match.
138 pounds: Doherty’s Maverick Keigher settled for fourth in 138, falling in the third-place match 5-3. Coronado’s Johnny Lopez fell in the fifth-place match in a 5-0 decision.
145 pounds: Kj Kearns of Coronado placed third in 145 with a pin over Dakota Key of Legacy in 2:07.
152 pounds: Doherty’s Zack Szostak fell in the 152 fifth-place match in an 8-6 decision.
106 pounds: It was an all-area freshman battle for third in the Class 4A 106-pound bout as Discovery Canyon’s Jett Strickenberger and Falcon’s Kenneth Crosby met. Strickenberger earned a 5-1 decision to claim bronze.
113 pounds: Discovery Canyon’s Darian Palacio placed fifth in 113 with a 10-3 decision over Ethan Hays.
126 pounds: Canon City’s James Ruona placed third with a 6-4 decision over Isaias Estrada. Palmer Ridge’s lone qualifier Nick Stiltner fell in the fifth-place match in 126-pounds to Josh Nira of Greeley, who pinned him in 44 seconds.
132 pounds: Discovery Canyon’s Jared Turner fell in the 132 fifth-place match in an 8-5 decision.
138 pounds: Lewis-Palmer’s Cole Stephenson was forced to settle for sixth place thanks to a 6-5 decision in the 138 fifth-place bout against Ronny Minjarez of Windsor.
145 pounds: Kevin Hooks of Cheyenne Mountain placed fourth after falling in a 6-5 decision in the 145 third-place bout. Elijah Whatley of Widefield clinched a fifth-place finish because his opponent was forced to forfeit due to injury.
152 pounds: It was an all-area 152 fifth-place match as Ronnie Salazar of Vista Ridge and Kian Colonese of Pine Creek battled for a medal. Colonese earned a narrow 3-2 decision for the win.
160 pounds: In another all-area fifth-place match, Air Academy’s Brady Badwound faced Pine Creek’s Zachary Vannaman, eventually claiming a 6-2 win for fifth.
170 pounds: Canon City’s Mason Rapshire finished fourth in 170, falling 12-1 to Jake Welch of Valor Christian in the bronze-medal match.
182 pounds: For the second year in a row Pine Creek’s Garrett Niel will take home a bronze medal. Niel pinned his 182-pound opponent in 4:49 for third. Wiedfield’s John Underwood will also take home some hardware with a fifth-place victory over Angel Perez of Skyline with a 9-2 decision.
195 pounds: Jared Volcic of Mesa Ridge beat his chest after a 15-2 win to claim third place in 195 over Jayden Smith. Nathan Daniel of Widefield and Cian Quiroga of Cheyenne Moutain faced off in the 195 fifth-place match. Quiroga won in a 16-6 decision.
220 pounds: Mesa Ridge’s Dom Fini claimed bronze in an 8-1 decision over Weston Holdren.
285 pounds: Vista Ridge’s Jeff Flippen earned a fall in 4:01 to claim a fifth-place finish at 285.
106 pounds: Zach Dooley from Woodland Park settled for fourth after being defeated by fall in one minute by Dalton Williams of Berthoud.
285 pounds: Ben McCaffrey from Ellicott placed fifth with a pin in 2:19 over Tyler Mullins of Fowler.