Sand Creek's 285 pounder unexpectedly makes finals
Sand Creek's Alefosio Saipaia had a takedown in the final seconds of his semifinals match to punch his ticket into Saturday's championship.
Saipaia didn't make the state tournament last season and came into the tournament this year unranked in Tim Yount's On The Mat's Week 10 Rankings.
"I'm not even supposed to be here," the junior grinned after his improbable win Friday.
Saipaia, who took third at his region, turned Erie's Nate Hackney over with nine seconds left in the third to move on.
Saipaia will face Pueblo East's Andy Garcia in the finals on Saturday.
"It's a blessing," he said. "I'm here because of my effort and my devotion."
Dabelko continues redemption tour
Coronado's Stephen Dabelko has used much of this season to turn the wrongs of a disappointing 2015-16 campaign into right.
And fittingly enough, he'll have to go through the only wrestler that's beaten him this season to win his first state title.
Dabelko moved into the Class 5A 113-pound finals after three dominant performances: a win by pin, injury forfeit and tech fall. His last hurdle of the tournament will be Pomona's Justin Pacheco, who beat Dabelko earlier in the season.
"It's good to go against somebody that's just as good as me - he beat me," Dabelko said. "I want to make sure I'm the best in the state. I don't want anybody to say he had an easy match in the finals."
Teams in the hunt
Cheyenne Mountain is second in 4A with 88 points, while Mesa Ridge (57.5) is seventh and Discovery Canyon (48.5) is ninth.
Coronado is fifth in 5A with 74.5 points.