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Thompson Valley's Siegel tops Mountain View's Contreras for 106 title

12 Feb 2017

For the Reporter-Herald, By Eric Wolf

FREDERICK — Sometimes, success comes when it is least expected. That was the case for Airiel Siegel of Thompson Valley, as the freshman took home the title in the 106-pound class at the 4A region 2 tournament at Frederick on Saturday. "I did not expect to even be in the finals and be the only one from my team in the finals," Siegel said, "I did not expect that at all." The fifth-seeded freshman might have been the only Eagle in a championship match on Saturday, but he made sure he delivered for his team in a 5-2 victory over Malachi Contreras of Mountain View. In the tightly-contested match, Siegel was happy to let Contreras be the aggressor. "I just tried to not put myself in any dangerous positions, because I kind of do that a lot," Siegel said. "I just wanted to wrestle smart and not try and go for big move that might hurt me at the end." With the first-place finish, Siegel punched his ticket to next weekend's state tournament. Count that as another surprise for the freshman. "I was pretty shocked that I got that match," Siegel said. "Now, I am more confident going into the state tournament. I did not think I would be there as a freshman."

But Siegel was not the only fifth-seeded Eagle to climb into a state-qualifying spot on Saturday, as Chase Englehardt took third place at 152 in a 10-6 win over Jackson Gilbert of Mountain View. Englehardt said he was a little disappointed coming out of the fifth spot in the tournament but that he still knew what he would have to do to get his state shot. "I knew I had a solid shot at beating (Caleb) Mendez, but if that didn't happen, I was on a collision course with Gilbert and I knew I could beat him," Englehardt said. After grabbing the early lead, the freshman spent much of the third period fighting off desperation attacks from Gilbert. He did just enough to keep himself out of harm's way and come away on top. "I just kind of stayed on bottom for the last part of that match, and that's going to be a big focus this week during practice," Englehardt said. "I have a lot of confidence (going into state). I know I can hang with anyone in the state and I have proven it a couple of times this year."

Even though Siegel stood as the lone Thompson Valley champion on Saturday, the team still finished in third place with 193.5 points. "It was a team effort," Thompson Valley coach Steve Gerrard said. "I mean to have one in the finals and end up placing third — everyone wrestled pretty good." Outside of Siegel and Engelhardt, the Eagles are taking six more wrestlers to next weekend's tournament — Kasey Gault (113), Trent Suppus (120), Jay McLaughlin (126), Zach Kennison (132), Hunter Williams (145) and Chris Ringus (195).

The Siegel and Contreras championship could not quite match the excitement surrounding Contreras's older brother Erik, who faced off with Tommy Stager of Niwot in the 145 final. Stager came away with a 7-3 victory in the much-anticipated third meeting between the two wrestlers this year. The best finish of the day for Mountain View came from Martin Rodriquez, who pinned third-seeded Thomas Garnicka of Thomas Jefferson at 4:53 to win the 220 title. "I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I didn't underestimate (Garnica) and I didn't overestimate him," Rodriguez said. "I knew he was going be tough but I am tough too."

Rodriquez needed every bit of that toughness to outlast Garnica who had a 1-0 advantage until Rodriquez got the pin. The top finish gives Rodriquez — who is ranked fifth in the state in his class — plenty of confidence heading into the state tournament. "I have wrestled a couple of the kids ranked above me, and I'm ready to wrestle them again," Rodriquez said. "I feel really good. I feel like it's going to be a really good tournament." The Lions finished the tournament fourth in the team standings with 175 points. Braden Barker (182), Semaj Spencer (170) and Jackson Gilbert (152) will join the Contreras brothers and Rodriquez at next weekend's state tournament. 

4A Region 2 - At Frederick

Team scores — Windsor 239.5, Greeley Central 215, Thompson Valley 193.5, Mountain View 175, Mead 150, Fort Morgan 127.5, Roosevelt 100.5, Silver Creek 77.5, Niwot 75.5, Frederick 56, Northridge 41, Thomas Jefferson 39, Kennedy 36.5, George Washington 20.

Local results

Championship matches

106 — Airiel Siegel, Thompson Valley, d. Malachi Contreras, Mountain View, 5-2. 145 — Tommy Stager, Niwot, d. Erik Contreras, Mountain View, 7-3. 182 — Dylan McBride, Fort Morgan, d. Braden Barker, Mountain View, 7-3. 220 — Martin Rodriquez, Mountain View, p. Thomas Garnica, Thomas Jefferson, 4:53.

Third-place matches

113 — Kasey Gault, Thompson Valley, d. Brennan McBride, Fort Morgan, 8-4. 120 — Trent Suppus, Thompson Valley, p. Brendan Jones, Fort Morgan, 2:06. 126 — Braden Pennigner, Windsor, md. Jay McLaughlin, Thompson Valley, 10-1. 132 — Zach Kennison, Thompson Valley, md. Kase Givens, Fort Morgan, 14-0. 145 — Hunter Williams, Thompson Valley, md. Josh Willis, Windsor, 15-2. 152 — Chase Englehardt, Thompson Valley, d. Jackson Gilbert, Mountain View, 10-6. 160 — Jonny Guerrero, Greeley Central, p. Masenn Lewis, Thompson Valley, 2:36. 170 — Semaj Spencer, Mountain View, d. Brennan McDermitt, Mead, 8-4. 195 — James Hockanadel, Fort Morgan, d. Chris Ringus, Thompson Valley, 8-1.

Fifth-place matches

138 — Tyler Harshman, Mountain View, p. Brandon Barton, Niwot, 1:34. 170 — Shawn Smith, Silver Creek, d. Caleb Burton, Thompson Valley, 7-6. 195 — Joseph Montoya, Mountain View, p. Evan Hansen, Mead, 2:59. 220 — Jordan Gonzales, Thompson Valley, p. Michael Castro, Frederick, 1:49.

Challenge matches

152 — Jordan Jackson, Northridge, md. Harshman, MV, 8-0. 160 — Gino Musick, Mead, md. Lewis, TV, 15-4.