Steamboat Springs After a thrilling quadrangular in Oak Creek on Thursday and tough, but productive, tournaments Saturday, the Hayden and Soroco high school wrestling teams head into this week’s regional tournaments with plenty of confidence.
The Tigers swept all comers Thursday, beating West Grand while losing only one match, beating North Park 42-9 and Soroco, the night’s host, 33-30.
Hayden then put together a strong showing at a duals tournament in Yoder, Wyoming, winning three of four matchups.
“The duals in Oak Creek went really well. We had a close one with Soroco and pulled it off,” Hayden coach Chad Jones said.
Hayden’s Jake Planansky pinned Soroco’s Kane Williams at 132 pounds, getting the win in the second period. Hayden also got a win at 170 pounds, from Hunter Hatcher against Tristan Singer, and 195 pounds, where Christian Carson beat Sky Carlson with an 8-3 decision.
Soroco got a win in that dual from Dalton Ray, at 138 pounds. He beat Blake Puckett with a first-round pin. Jace Logan then pinned Hayden’s Hunter Planansky at 152 pounds.
Hayden also beat a small, three-wrestler North Park team Thursday in a dual.
Hayden then won three duals in Wyoming, beating Bayard, Nebraska, Hemingford, Nebraska and Southeast High School from Wyoming. It lost only to Gering, Nebraska.
Getting out of the state the week before regionals, seeing tough competition and finding some success against that competition was exactly what Jones had in mind.
“It was tough, good competition,” he said. "It gave our kids a test. We had a couple of losses, but we won’t have to see those kids again at regionals. It helps our kids mentally and keeps them ready to go.”
Soroco, meanwhile, beat West Grand and North Park on Thursday. It then went 2-2 at the Meeker Duals Tournament on Saturday. Soroco beat Coal Ridge and Grand Valley, then lost to Meeker and Palisade.
Ray, Williams, Jesse Amrein and Lane Martindale each went 2-2 at Meeker. Gene Bracegirdle was 3-1 at 106 pounds, and Logan was undefeated at 152 pounds.
“It was a good tournament,” coach Jay Whaley said.
Next up for both schools is the regional tournament, which begins Friday in Grand Junction. The top four finishers from each weight class will advance to the state tournament.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9