Steamboat Springs 113 pounds: Colton Pasternak
Pasternak took the long road to a state medal last year. He lost his very first match at state but then won four of his next five to lock up a fifth-place medal. He wanted higher, of course, and this year has a shot to get it. It’ll take plenty of tough wrestling, however. He enters with a 15-7 record and the No. 13 seed in his bracket.
126 pounds: Dakota Thvedt
Thvedt punched his ticket to state the easy way, by winning his way into the regional championship match. He lost there but was plenty respected by the bracketing committee. He’s the highest-seeded second-place finisher, at No. 5. If he takes care of business, he could be in position to win a spot in the finals on Friday night.
145 pounds: Lance Bryant
Bryant didn’t even get the chance to wrestle for state a year ago. His season ended early with an injury. Fully healthy this season, he put together a very strong regular season and capped it with a regional championship. He finished with a 32-7 record and enters state as the No. 4 seed. He closed his season with plenty of momentum and could carry that to the finals.
152 pounds: Matthew Hansen
Hansen qualified for state as a sophomore but missed last year. He had to dig deep to earn his way back, fighting his way into the fourth-place position at regionals. Now that he’s there, he would love to extend his stay with some wins.
160 pounds: Hayden Johnson
Johnson charged through the bracket at state a year ago and charged into the state finals match — the first Steamboat wrestler to do that in more than a decade. He returns to state as the No. 2 wrestler in his bracket, 33-7 on the season, and is looking to repeat that run. He said he’s better all around than he was a year ago. He was a part of someone else’s championship story as a sophomore. Now as a junior, he wants to write his own story.
145 pounds: Lane Martindale
It may not look like Martindale made much of his trip to state a year ago. He did go 0-2, but there haven’t been many wrestlers lose two tougher matches at the state tournament. He lost his first, 10-8, then his second, 3-1 in overtime. With a 35-8 record, he’s the No. 8 seed in his bracket. He wrestled well at state last year. This year, he wants to win there.
152 pounds: Jace Logan
Logan turned heads and dropped jaws when, as a freshman, he made the state finals a year ago. Now he’s been in the spotlight all season, especially after taking two of three matches against his primary rival at 152 pounds, Norwood senior Hayden Harris. Logan beat Harris first then lost when the rematched. Logan, 41-1, got him in overtime last week in the regional championship, however, giving him the No. 1 overall seed in the bracket.
195 pounds: Sky Carlson
Carlson, a junior, hadn’t gone out for wrestling in high school before this year, but he’s proven he’s a quick study. He went from getting pinned early in matches back in December to beating two of the state’s top championship threats in his bracket last week at regionals. He’s 28-13 on the season, but the No. 4 seed at 195 pounds and enters the tournament positively red hot.
195 pounds: Christian Carson
Carson’s emotions cost him several spots on the podium a year ago, and he’s intent on not letting that happen again. There’s only one spot on the podium he truly wants, and quick, tough and driven, he enters the tournament with a puncher’s chance at getting it. He’s the No. 6 seed with a 30-6 record.