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Two regional champions lead Brush to state

12 Feb 2017

Fort Morgan Times Sports Reporter , By Brandon Boles

Familiarity surrounded the Brush wrestling team at their regional tournament over the weekend, returning to Eaton and seeing seven of the 14 teams come from the Patriot League. Two veteran leaders made impressive runs towards a regional title and four more wrestlers worked their way to qualify for state, giving the team six this year. Sophomore Oswaldo Nunez stole the show at 126 for Brush, getting three wins by fall for the title. His first two matches only last seconds as he pinned Vince Demcy of Valley in 31 seconds and Colin Leypoldt of Berthoud in 47 seconds to reach the final. Against Levi Raines of Strasburg, Nunez would have to wrestle into the third period, but was successful in getting another fall to finish in first place.

The other big winner for Brush was junior Caleb Cox, the returning state runner-up eager to get back to the state title match. With the top seed in the 113-pound field, Cox earned a bye in the quarterfinals and did not have to wrestle until Saturday. There, he won by fall in the second period to Byron Mayo of Bennett, setting up a big match with Noah Damian of Valley. An active Cox came through in the championship, winning by decision 8-5 for the regional title.Brush had a third wrestler reach the regional championships on Saturday in junior Colin Cole at 120. His first win came on Friday in the quarterfinals versus Iliijha Gutierrez of University, where he would win by fall in the first period. Cole had a close semifinal match with Hayden Gavette of Eaton but did just enough to advance with a 5-4 decision win. In the finals, Cole would face top-ranked Javier Gonzalez of Valley. Gonzalez controlled the match, but Cole avoided the fall, giving up a 16-5 majority decision to finish in second.

The rest of the state qualifiers for Brush did just enough in the championship bracket and consolation bracket over the weekend to advance. Senior Jeron Petterson finished in third place at 160 and had three competitive matches during his run. An impressive quarterfinal win over Elezar Chavez of Sterling by fall in the first period put him in the semifinals on Saturday, where he would go up against Kolson Welham of Holy Family, the top seed. Opportunities were few and far between for Petterson to score and he would fall by decision 4-0 to move to the consolation semifinals. In the consolation bracket, Petterson finished strong, winning by fall over Alex Camacho of Valley to wrestle for third place. The final match had him against Eric Todd of Estes Park, which would be a low-scoring match. Petterson did just enough to win by decision 2-1.

Sophomore Wyatt Pfau lost two heartbreakers but managed to finish fourth at 152 to go to state. After beating Mason Floryancic of Bennett by fall, he faced Jaziah Whaley of Valley, a familiar foe at big tournaments during the regular season. The two had another close match against each other, but it was Whaley who got the edge again with a 2-0 decision win.Pfau returned to form in the rematch with Floryancic in the consolation semifinals and he found himself in the third-place match with Isaiah Salazar of Eaton. Neither gave up many opportunities to score and Pfau came up short in the decision 2-1. He would not have to wrestle back after the loss. The final qualifier for Brush was Josiah Fuentes at 195, who benefited from having only four wrestlers in his weight class. Both matches he wrestled came on Saturday, starting with a loss to Braedy Sturdevant of Eaton by fall and finishing with a loss to Drew Book of Sterling in the third-place match. Brush would defeat 11 teams in the team standings by scoring 143 points. Valley took first place with 225.5 points and Eaton was second with 200.