Preparations roundup: Rosenmerkel of Glenwood and Grice of Grand Valley win regional wrestling titles and move to state

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Glenwood Springs senior wrestler Ray Rosenmerkel won at 138 pounds in the 4A Regionals on Saturday to qualify for next week’s state championships, as did Grand Valley senior Hayden Grice in the 3A Regionals at 285 pounds.

The two will be joined by 12 other prep wrestlers from Garfield County and Roaring Fork Valley at the state championships in Denver next weekend, following last weekend’s regional qualifiers.

Competing in the 4A Region 1 competition at Broomfield High School, Glenwood Springs sophomore Leobardo Meraz also qualified with a third-place finish by scoring a major 11-3 decision against Durango’s Riley Belt.



The top four regional finishers for the 3A and 4A classifications advance to the state, according to the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Wrestling Bulletin.

Rosenmerkel won the 138-pound division with a 5-4 decision over Manny Lopez of Broomfield. After a first-round bye, Rosenmerkel defeated Falcon’s JP Cates by pinfall in 1:25, and in the quarterfinals scored a major 11-2 decision over Durango’s Riley Belt.



In the 132-pound category, Meraz took third place with a major 11-3 decision over Durango’s Chris McGrath, who beat Meraz in the quarterfinals, 8-7. Meraz picked up a consolation round win over Eagle Valley’s Colby Burpo, 5-3, then beat Falcon’s Kasson Miles in a sudden overtime victory, 15-13, to advance to the third-place game.

As a team, Glenwood finished 14th of 14 with 42 points.

Grice leads a strong contingent of cardinals to the 3A state

Grand Valley’s Hayden Grice will be looking to improve on his sixth-place finish at next week’s state meet, after coming through heavyweight competition in the 3A Region 1 qualifier, held Saturday at the Western campus. State University at Gunnison.

Grice captured the regional title championship by knocking out Valley rival Jose Munoz of Basalt via pinfall in 0:51. He won the quarterfinal in the fall in 2:33 against Treyton Sandoval of Delta, and took just 0:43 to win in the semifinal against Jordan Cundiff of Bayfield.

In total, Grand Valley will send six qualifiers to the state, including Jaysen Skeen, who took fourth at 106 pounds; Teagan Jacobs, third at 113 pounds; Aydan Fisher, fourth at 152 pounds; Dominic Mendoza, third at 160 pounds; and Brayden Harper, fourth at 220 pounds.

In the lightweight division, Skeen won the fourth place match against Bayfield’s Mars Hunter by pinfall in 3:48. Skeen lost the third-place match to Gunnison’s Talon Kibler by pinfall in 4:39, but earned a big consolation semi-final victory over Rifle’s Lee Higgins in 1:33 to keep his chances alive.

At 113 pounds, Jacobs won the match for third place via medical waiver against a Bayfield wrestler. He lost to Dempsey Gibbs of Alamosa in the semifinals, 6-1, and beat Colt Call of Moffat County in the fall consolation semifinals in 2:17.l

At 152 pounds, fourth place went to Fisher, who beat Coal Ridge’s Brandon Short by pinfall in 2:53. Short missed a trip to the state after struggling hard in the consolation bracket, but lost the third place match to Alamosa’s Dante Gonzales in the fall in 2:26.

At 160 pounds, Grand Valley’s Mendoza took third place with a victory over Rifle’s Levi Miller by fall in 2:59. Miller advanced for the Bears thanks to fourth place.

Mendoza won the quarter-final match against Joseph Avila of Delta by pinfall in 2:53, but lost the semi-final against Heath Fulbright of Pagosa Springs in a 9-4 decision, struggling in the consolation semi-final for defeat Layton Morrison of Steamboat Springs in 3:57.

At 220 pounds, the Cardinals’ Harper took fourth place with a no-contest win over Gunnison’s Omar Bernabe to advance, following a 10-7 loss to Coal Ridge’s Angelo Perea in the third-place game. Perea will represent Coal Ridge at the state.

Grand Valley’s Jordan Cedeno narrowly missed qualifying at 170 pounds, dropping the fourth-place match to Pagosa Springs’ David Morehouse in the fall in 1:57.

Rifle High School will send two wrestlers to the state, including Levi Miller at 160 pounds and Parker Miller at 138 pounds after his major 15-6 decision over Gunnison’s Rylin Gallegos to claim fourth place. Miller lost the third-place game in the fall in 2:20 to Tommy Barker of Pagosa Springs.

In addition to Coal Ridge qualifying Perea at 220 pounds, the Titans’ Cooper Thurmon weighs in at 126 pounds, where he took fourth place with a no-contest win over Delta’s Kyle Chaffin. Thurmon fell in the match for third place in 0:58 against Alamosa’s Sage Rockcastle.

In addition to Munoz qualifying at 285 pounds for Basalt, Roaring Fork High School senior Brady Samuelson qualified at 182 pounds with a no contest victory over Derek Carter of Pagosa Springs.

Grand Valley was the top team among area schools at 3A Regionals, placing sixth.

Basketball Boys

Glenwood Springs 43, Steamboat Springs 42

The Glenwood Springs High School boys barely survived a fourth quarter lull on Saturday at Steamboat Springs, as host Sailors pulled out a 20-2 tear to nearly prevent the upset. But the surprise lasted, as the Demons escaped with a 43-42 win.

Glenwood had opened up a 28-18 halftime lead and were up 19 points after three quarters before Steamboat stormed back.

It was sweet redemption for the Demons (8-13 overall, 5-5 in the 4A WSL after the win), after a tough 63-56 loss at home to Eagle Valley on Thursday. Glenwood hosts Palisade on Thursday and closes the regular season on Saturday against Rifle, also at home.

In other men’s action this weekend: Coal Ridge 58, Roaring Fork 47; Delta 69, Great Valley 54; and Palisade 63, Rifle 46

Girls basketball

Glenwood Springs 39, Steamboat Springs 22

The Lady Demons continued their march to a 4A Western Slope League title with a 39-22 win on the road at Steamboat Springs on Saturday. Glenwood improves to 15-6 overall and is unbeaten at 10-0 in the league. Next up is Palisade on Thursday and Rifle on Saturday, both at home.

The other girls score this weekend: Grand Valley 63, Rifle 37; Coal Ridge 56, Roaring Fork 29; Delta 65, Great Valley 53; and Palisade 48, Rifle 41.

Hockey results: Glenwood Springs 4, Aspen 3 (Avner Mangeot 2; Ross Barlow 1; Kaleb Holm 1); Ridged Butte 2, Glenwood Springs 1 (Ross Barlow).

Senior Reporter/Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or [email protected]

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