Jesus Trejo grapples with Brynden Wilson of Wiggins, on his way to a 13-11 overtime win to advance him to the third-fourth place match at 138 pounds. — Johnson Publications

Luis Chafino has Yuma’s Xavier Smith on his back in Saturday morning consolation bracket action at 145 pounds. Chafino went on to take fourth place in his weight division, then pinned Derek Saffer of Wray in the challenge match for the state tourney berth. — Johnson Publications

Trejo, Chafino qualify for state mats

Rojo finishes 5th; Soto and Lopez place 6th in regional wrestling action at NJC in Sterling

    Fourth-place finishes at 138 and 145 pounds respectively qualified Jesus Trejo and Luis Chafino for the Big Show, the Colorado 2A State Wrestling Championships Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 15-17, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
    Chafino had to face a challenge from the fifth-place wrestler, as he hadn’t met him previously in the tournament. But he survived the challenge with a pin in the second period to maintain his state tournament berth.
    Challenges were required in five of the 14 weight divisions, with all fourth-place finishers retaining their state tournament status.
    Additional Dragon success from the Feb. 9-10 regional tourney at NJC in Sterling included Anthony Rojo’s fifth-place finish at 113 pounds, as well as sixth-place honors for Miguel Soto at 132 pounds and Andy Lopez at 170.
    All HHS wrestlers who competed at regionals are either sophomores or juniors, and coach Dusty McConnell is proud of their progress this season.
    Calling the season an awesome one, he said, “It’s very good for us to show improvement throughout the year.” He anticipates next year’s wrestling season to show more state qualifiers as a result of their experience.
    McConnell is optimistic about Trejo’s and Chafino’s opportunities at state, noting their first-round matches are very winnable.
    McConnell congratulated all Dragon wrestlers this season for the improvement they built from last year. “Our goal was to make ourselves better, and we already have goals in place for next year,” added McConnell.
    He also noted appreciation to parents and fans for their support all year.
    Wray dominated the regional tourney with 302.5 points, qualifying wrestlers in 13 of the 14 weight divisions.
    Burlington followed with 191.5 points, Yuma 116, Akron 100, Lyons 94, Sedgwick County/Fleming 93, Highland 89, Wiggins 69.5, Merino 66, Holyoke 52, Byers 50, Gilpin County 29, Stratton 27, Clear Creek 25 and Limon 22.

State tourney Feb. 15-17
    This year’s state tournament will mark a third-time appearance for junior Jesus Trejo. He wrestled at 113 pounds as a freshman, 120 last year and 138 pounds this year.
    This is sophomore Luis Chafino’s first trip to the Big Show, where he qualified in the 145-lb. division.
    First-round action Thursday will see Trejo (20-10) meeting Holly sophomore Ethan Burns, with a 23-8 record.
    Chafino (28-12) will meet John Mall senior Trystan Estrada (22-10).
State tourney schedule
    Thursday, Feb. 15 — prelims, 3-6:15 p.m.
    Friday, Feb. 16 — quarterfinals, 9:30 a.m., followed by first-round consolations; second-round consolations, 5:30-6:45 p.m.; and semifinals, 7 p.m.
    Saturday, Feb. 17 — third-round consolations, 10 a.m., followed by semifinal consolations; fifth-place matches, 1:30 p.m., followed immediately by third-place matches; parade of champions and final matches, 6:30 p.m.

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