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Pueblo sending 55 wrestlers to state prep championships

13 Feb 2017

The Can is about to be filled to the brim with high-quality Pueblo product. Fifty-five prep wrestlers from Districts 60 and 70 alone qualified for the Colorado High School Activities Association state wrestling tournament, which begins Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Pueblo County and East, the top-two ranked squads in Class 4A, lead the way with 11 qualifiers each, while Pueblo West sends a 10-spot of its own. CHSAA released brackets for the state tournament on Sunday, giving teams and individuals the blueprint for their paths to state glory.

Pueblo County's Willits twins -- Grant at 132 and Hunter at 152 -- are the top seeds in their final state tournaments. Grant (40-3) faces Battle Mountain's Marie DeLara (33-10) in his first test on his quest for a third state championship. Hunter (41-2) is looking to become just the 20th wrestler in Colorado history to win four state titles. His road begins with Shaun Stepisnik of Central Grand Junction (32-19). One of the most competitive divisions on paper is the Class 4A 113-pound division, which features three state champions -- Josiah Nava of Pueblo County, Will Vombaur of Windsor and Jace Trujillo of East. Nava (106 pound champion in 2015) and Trujillo -- who met in the 113 state finals last season, with Trujillo emerging as the victor -- both won regional titles and were pitted on opposite sides of the bracket. Nava (23-7) faces Widefield's Jason Ferari (3-13) in the first round, while Trujillo -- unbeaten this year (36-0) with 34 pins -- faces Brennan McBride of Fort Morgan. Vombaur (23-2), who was the 106-pound champion last year and placed third in his region, faces Grady Nickolaus of Montrose and is in the same quarter of the bracket as Nava, meaning the two state champs could meet in the second round.

East's Andrew Lucero (35-4), a two-time state placer (third in 2015 at 106, second in 2012 at 106), won his region and nabbed the top seed at 120 pounds. He will face Fort Morgan's Brendan Jones (19-11) in round one. Opposite him is two-seed Nathan Bonham (30-6), last year's third place finisher at 106 and a regional champion this year, who will open against Seth Long (18-17) of Widefield.

Also earning top seeds in Class 4A were Pueblo County's Brendon Garcia (106), Donavon Rincon (195) and Pueblo West's Weston Hunt (220).