Pomona wins final bout to edge Pueblo County in prep wrestling dual28 Jan 2017
By Nick Jurney the Pueblo Chieftain
It was a dual that will go down in Colorado prep wrestling history.The legend will only grow with time, as is common with sports lore.But the near-capacity crowd of over 950 people will all remember where they were when they saw Class 5A No. 1 Pomona defeat Class 4A No. 1 Pueblo County 31-27 Thursday in a rare, classic battle of defending state championship teams at the Hornets Nest.The top teams in the state’s two largest classifications also brought with them national accolades — Pueblo County is ranked No. 18 by FloWrestling and No. 22 by InterMat, while Pomona is ranked No. 21 by both wrestling publications.There were 15 wrestlers ranked in the top three in the state in their respective weight classes by Tim Yount of On the Mat, and eight of those 15 went head-to-head.
The night’s final match was at 132 pounds and featured defending Class 5A state champion Theorius Robison — ranked No. 11 in the nation — against defending 4A champion Grant Willits — ranked No. 10 in the nation.Willits got the better of Robison on Dec. 7 in the finals of the Doc Buchanan Tournament in California, but this time the two were wrestling with a little extra on the line.The Panthers held a 28-27 lead heading in to the marquee match, and everyone in the crowd knew what that meant.The two scrambled and tangoed through a scoreless first period before Robison got on the board with an escape in the second to take a 1-0 lead.On bottom in the third, Willits exploded for a reversal after a restart to take a brief 2-1 lead before Robison escaped to tie it again. The Panther secured a take down on the edge of the mat shortly after, and Willits escaped but Robison came out on top of Willits’ last-second flurry to hang on to a 6-3 victory and allow the Panthers to escape with a win in the clash of titans.“I’ll tell you, when it’s on the line I would put Theorius up against most anybody,” Pomona coach Sam Federico said. “Grant Willits is a tough, gritty, hard to score on kid. He was our only loss on the year, and it was a match just like this. I could watch them wrestle for weeks.”