With just under a dozen state-qualifying wrestlers, Routt County’s last hope for a state champion came to Soroco junior Larhae Whaley, who battled her way through her quarterfinal bout to advance to the semifinals on Friday night, Feb. 17 at the Colorado High School Activities Association State Championships.
Whaley, who fights in the 105-pound weight class, narrowly came in her semifinal bout, falling 3 minutes 13 seconds behind her Fort Carson opponent.
Whaley’s weekend isn’t over though, he’ll be back on the carpet on Saturday morning, February 18, hoping to contend for third place.
While the Hayden boys have brought seven athletes to compete in Denver, only two have won their first game. Both seniors Owen Miller and Cody Hawn would lose in the quarterfinals.
Hayden’s head coach, Matt Linsacum, takes pride in the hard work his athletes have put in this season, and while it’s hard to see them let their dreams down, he has continued to motivate them throughout the tournament.
“This is the toughest tournament and that’s what it is, but our thing is you just have to keep going,” Linsacum said. “If you don’t win, you have to take the next best thing and for our guys right now it’s third and fourth place.”
Six Tigers advanced to the second consolation round which took place on Friday night in hopes of continuing to fight until Saturday February 18th. Only Hawn and the young Chase Preston were able to advance.
Steamboat Springs found itself in a similar situation with young Finn Rodgers winning his first wrestleback match. However, he lost his next game.
The Sailors’ fellow wrestler, the younger Henry Dismuke, fell in each of his first two matches to end his time at the state.
Foot to the sky, young Steamboat Springs Henry Dismuke tumbles to first wrestleback in the 175 lbs weight class during the State Championships in Wrestling at the Ball Arena on Friday, February 17, 2023. Tom Skulski/steamboat pilot and today
Out of his seat and screaming words of advice, Hayden Head Wrestling Coach Matt Linsacum coaches sophomore Triston Day to a win in the first wrestleback during the state championships on Friday, February 17, 2023. Tom Skulski/steamboat pilot and today
Young Hayden Chase Preston wins his wrestling state championships by fall in the Ball Arena on Friday February 17, 2023. Tom Skulski/steamboat pilot and today
Soroco junior Makala Iacovetto falls to his opponent in the first wrestling match of the State Championships in Wrestling at Ball Arena on Friday, February 17, 2023. Tom Skulski/steamboat pilot and today
Elder Hayden Cody Hawn gets advice from Coach Matt Linsacum during a break in his quarterfinal matchup at the Ball Arena State Championships on Friday, February 17, 2023. Tom Skulski/steamboat pilot and today
Hayden’s sophomore Ethan Silva gains control of his opponent and wins his state championship wrestling match at the Ball Arena on Friday, February 17, 2023. Tom Skulski/steamboat pilot and today
Soroco wrestling coach Jay Whaley encourages his daughter, Larhae, ahead of her state quarterfinal win at the Ball Arena on Friday, February 17, 2023. Tom Skulski/steamboat pilot and today
After falling in the first round, sophomore Hayden Triston Day bounced back with a win in first round wrestleback against Highland’s Wyatt Meyer in the Ball Arena on Friday, February 17, 2023.Tom Skulski/steamboat pilot and today
All of the remaining Routt County wrestlers plan to make it through Saturday and are hoping to finish their seasons as strong as possible. Miller has his sights set on winning, with a desire to place at state his senior year.
“I just hope to do the best I can and keep going no matter what,” Miller said. “If I fall in a game, I want to keep my head up and try to place myself.”
Colorado High School Activities Association State Wrestling ChampionshipsThursday February 16th and Friday February 17thSteamboat Springs165Round 1: Ritchie Bruno, Brush, Finn Rodgers crash, Steamboat Springs, 2:49. 1st WB: Finn Rodgers, Steamboat Springs, SV Colin Duckworth, Fort Morgan, 10-8.2nd WB: Christopher Galicia, Fort Lupton, maj. dec. Finn Rodgers, Steamboat Springs, 13-3.175Round 1: Cole Curtis, Brush, Henry Dismuke crash, Steamboat Springs, 5:31.1st WB: Kaleb Cooper, Berthoud, Henry Dismuke crash, Steamboat Springs, 3:30.
Hayden113Round 1: Merek Charney, Akron, Dec. Chase Preston, Hayden, 5-1.1st WB: Chase Preston, Hayden, crash Aiden Trujillo, John Mall, 1:26.2nd WB: Chase Preston, Hayden, med. For. Aydan Christian, Rangely. 120Round 1: Luke Wilfong, Peyton, Ethan Silva, Hayden fall 4:39.1st WB: Ethan Silva, Hayden, Dominik Ortiz, Olathe, fall 2:48.2nd WB: Breaden Flores, North Fork, Ethan Silva, Hayden, fall 1: 44.132Round 1: Owen Miller, Hayden, crash Brenden Reifschneider, County Line, 2:15.Quarter Finals: Eddie Bowman, Trinidad, crash Owen Miller, Hayden, 1:31.2nd WB: Daunte Maldonado, Holly, crash Owen Miller, Hayden , 4:58.138Round 1: Tyler Frank, Merino, Triston Day crash, Hayden, 5:11.Consolation: Triston Day, Hayden, Wyatt Meyer crash, Highland, 1:55.2nd WB: Giovonni Aldretti, John Mall, Triston Day crash, Hayden, 2 :48.150Round 1: Jacob Pacheco, Monte Vista, SV Sabyn Hager, Hayden, crash. Consolation: Tyson Beanland, Dove Creek, Sabyn Hager Fall, Hayden, 1:44.190Round 1: Cody Hawn, Hayden, Colten Vannest crash, Mancos, 1:20. Quarterfinals: Haden Camp, Buena Vista, Dec. Cody Hawn, Hayden, 3-2.2nd WB: Cody Hawn, Hayden, Dec. Cayson VanDyk, Rocky Ford, 2-1. 285Round 1: Elliot Sam, Mancos, fall Aaron Fuentes, Hayden, 4:51. Consolation: Aaron Fuentes, Hayden, Omar Ocana fall, Rocky Ford, 4:14. 2nd WB: Sam Ware, North Fork, Dec. Aaron Fuentes, Hayden, 5-2.
Soroco Girls100Round 1: Piper Montoya, Canon City, Makala Iacovetto crash, Soroco, 0:48. Consolation: Magdaelena Marjerrison, Mesa Ridge, Makala Iacovetto Fall, Soroco, 3:17. 105Round 1: Larhae Whaley, Soroco, maj. dec. Adrianna Price, Moffat County, 10-2. Quarterfinals: Larhae Whaley, Soroco, Dec. Velma Bailey, North Fork, 4-1.Semifinals: Alexsys Jacquez, Fort Carson, Larhae Whaley crash, Soroco, 3:13.
To contact Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email [email protected].