The girls and boys wrestling state championships kicked off Thursday with preliminary rounds at Denver’s Ball Arena.

Action will further heat up with quarterfinals starting at 8:30 a.m. Friday, and semifinals for all classifications taking place at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

All of this will come to a head with the finals Saturday, beginning with the Parade of Champions at 5:30 p.m.

Of the 106 local boys and 15 local girls that qualified for the tournaments, 55 boys and nine girls won their matches Thursday, while others dropped to the consolations and will try to stave off elimination Friday.

Eaton and Windsor also provided themselves with some early momentum in team title races.

Here is a team-by-team look at how local wrestlers fared Thursday:

DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 18:Fort Lupton’s Rylee Balcazar wrestles during her match against Katey Valdez during the semifinal round on the second day of the 2022 CHSAA State Wrestling Tournament in Ball Arena in Denver Feb. 18, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Greeley Tribune file photo)

Girls

Fort Lupton Bluedevils

With 12 early points, Fort Lupton is in a four-way tie for eighth place among 74 teams.

Discovery Canyon is in the lead with 24 points, while two-defending champion Chatfield is second with 21 points.

Of their seven state qualifiers, four won their opening round matches: 105-pound junior defending state champion Rylee Balcazar (30-5), senior 125-pounder Genevieve Hunt (29-8), junior 145-pounder Anastyn Livesay (23-7) and senior 155-pounder Lashya Tijerina (20-8).

Greeley West Spartans

West has eight points and is in a nine-way tie for 16th in the team standings.

Greeley West brought three wrestlers to the state tournament, and two of them won Thursday: freshman 145-pounder Dora Dickinson (25-12) and senior 235-pounder Paulina Cruz (22-3).

Severance Silver Knights

Severance racked up six early points to sit tied with Broomfield for 27th.

Severance went 2-1 in the opening round with sophomore 125-pounder Faith Vondy (32-8) and junior 135-pounder Cadie Percy (29-4) picking up wins.

KERSEY, CO – MARCH 30:Platte Valley Broncos wrestler Nevaeh Garcia stands for a portrait outside the wrestling room in Platte Valley Middle School in Kersey March 30, 2021. (Alex McIntyre/Greeley Tribune file photo)

Platte Valley Broncos

Platte Valley scored four points and is in a 19-way tie for 29th.

Among the Broncos’ two-wrestler team, senior 170-pounder Nevaeh Garcia (26-1) — a former state champion — picked up an opening-round win.

Boys

Class 2A

Highland Huskies

Highland sits in a four-way tie for 17th place, having scored eight points during Day 1.

Wray (39) is in first, followed by Meeker (27.5), among the 53 teams.

Three of the Huskies’ six state qualifiers earned first-round victories: freshman 126-pounder Tyler Varra (33-9), sophomore 190-pounder Ira Sittner (30-9) and senior 215-pounder Carter Jennings (24-6).

Dayspring Christian Eagles

Dayspring, a second-year program, scored four points to sit in a four-way tie for 27th place.

The Eagles brought seven wrestlers to the state tournament, and sophomore 144-pounder Logan Clark (35-11) picked up a win Thursday.

GREELEY, CO – DECEMBER 15:Head coach Todd Welch, right, directs freshman Landen Beauvais, center, as he grapples with freshman Joey Corliss, bottom, during the Dayspring Christian Eagles wrestling practice at Dayspring Christian Academy in Greeley Dec. 15, 2021. (Alex McIntyre/Greeley Tribune file photo)

3A

Eaton Reds

Perhaps to no one’s surprise, Eaton is off to a strong start in its pursuit of a second consecutive state title — and a third title in four years.

The Reds scored 27 points Thursday to sit in first place in the early stages of the team race. Brush (22) is second within the 50-team standings.

Eaton brought a full team of 14 wrestlers to the state tournament. Eight of them earned wins in the prelims: freshman 106-pounder Blake Hawkins (19-4), junior 132-pounder Patrick Preston (42-7), senior 138-pounder Jake Hergenreter (38-8), junior 144-pounder Preston Smith (27-11), junior 157-pounder Jackson Tribbett (42-8), sophomore 175-pounder Gunnar Clary (30-12), sophomore 190-pounder Cal Sidwell (31-4) and senior 285-pounder Ryder True (29-7).

Runner-up Brush has six wrestlers still alive in the championship brackets. Mullen, another tournament favorite, has five of its original eight in the championship quarterfinals.

DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 19:Fort Lupton’s D’mitri Garza-Alarcon wrestles with Woodland Park’s Brady Hankin during their 3A 138 pound state final match on the third day of the 2022 CHSAA State Wrestling Tournament in Ball Arena in Denver Feb. 19, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Greeley Tribune file photo)

Fort Lupton Bluedevils

Fort Lupton also got off to a strong start Thursday, scoring 20 points and sitting in fourth place.

The Bluedevils advanced six of their eight qualifiers past the championship first round: senior 106-pounder Donovan Birmingham (22-12), freshman 126-pounder Josiah Gonzales (39-8), junior 138-pound two-time defending champion D’mitri Garza-Alarcon (39-4), senior 157-pounder William Alvarado (32-8), sophomore 165-pounder Christopher Galicia (32-16) and senior 215-pounder Kayden Derbigny (29-10).

DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 19:Severance’s Colby Runner wrestles with Salida’s Drew Johnson during their 3A 182 pound state final match on the third day of the 2022 CHSAA State Wrestling Tournament in Ball Arena in Denver Feb. 19, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Greeley Tribune file photo)

Severance Silver Knights

Upstart Severance sits in seventh with 17 points.

Severance went 6-5 during Round 1 with junior 113-pounder Jonathan Morrison (24-6) — a past state champion from Kansas — senior 138-pounder Tommy Thomas (26-11), senior 144-pounder Kilian Schultz (35-5), senior 190-pound defending state champion Colby Runner (31-5), junior 215-pounder Andrew Mitchell (18-10) and senior 285-pounder Dominic Butts (12-3) advancing past the championship first round.

DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 19:Valley’s Aidan Trujillo looks out of the tunnel before his 3A heavyweight state final match against Weld Central’s Kane Fobare on the third day of the 2022 CHSAA State Wrestling Tournament in Ball Arena in Denver Feb. 19, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Greeley Tribune file photo)

Valley Vikings

Valley, a longtime contender in 3A, scored 14 points to sit tied with Moffat County for 11th.

Four of the Vikings’ six qualifiers won their opening matches: junior 132-pounder Cristian Corral (34-9), senior 138-pounder Colby Schaffer (28-8), sophomore 150-pounder Nehemiah Whaley (23-8) and 285-pound senior defending champion Aidan Trujillo (32-5).

Platte Valley Broncos

Platte Valley scored 10 points and is in 17th place.

The Broncos won all three of their first-round matches, with junior 113-pounder Jullian Marquez (38-6), senior 157-pounder Jonathan Malovich (37-1) and junior 175-pounder Brody White (31-9) advancing.

University Bulldogs

Resurgent University scored six points in the opening round to sit in a tie with Berthoud for 22nd.

Junior 138-pounder Jace Collett (37-16) and senior 165-pounder Paxton Daggett (43-2) picked up wins among the Bulldogs’ eight-wrestler team.

Resurrection Christian Cougars

Resurrection Christian managed four points Thursday and is in a 14-way tie for 24th place.

Among the Cougars’ eight qualifiers, sophomore 175-pounder Isaiah Johnson (33-8) and junior 190-pounder Ethan Goldfain (24-8) earned wins.

Weld Central Rebels

Weld Central was one of eight teams in 3A that was unable to score a team point Thursday.

Neither of the Rebels’ two qualifiers won first-round matches.

GREELEY, CO – DECEMBER 18:Windsor’s John Kenney, right, grapples with Erie’s Noah Lopez during the second day of the 2021 Jimmy John’s Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament in Bank of Colorado Arena at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley Dec. 18, 2021. (Alex McIntyre/Greeley Tribune file photo)

4A

Windsor Wizards

Perennial contender Windsor got off to a fast start in a tight team race, scoring 23 points to sit in second place out of 51 teams.

The Wizards trail only Pueblo East (25.5), the defending state champion.

Seven of Windsor’s 12 qualifiers picked up wins: junior 106-pounder James Pantoja (36-3), freshman 113-pounder Robert Kendall (39-2), senior 120-pounder Zach Eaton (31-13), senior 126-pounder John Kenney (37-3), junior 138-pounder Hayden Haase (18-5), sophomore 157-pounder Santi Fernandez (39-7) and freshman 165-pounder Evan Perez (36-5).

By comparison, eight of Pueblo East’s 11 state qualifiers advanced into the championship quarterfinals.

Roosevelt Rough Riders

Roosevelt is also right in the mix in a tight early team race, scoring 19 points to sit in seventh place.

The Rough Riders went 5-4 during the open day, with wins from freshman 126-pounder Chris LaLonde (40-4), sophomore 138-pounder Travis Long (33-7), senior 165-pounder Hayden Roof (29-9), senior 175-pounder Sergio Cantu (22-9) and junior 190-pounder Bronco Hartson (22-2).

Greeley West Spartans

Greeley West continues to show how far it has come in the past few years. Through Day 1, the Spartans sit in a tie with Falcon for eighth place. Each team has 14 points.

Five of West’s six qualifiers won Thursday: sophomore 120-pounder Julian Chavez (29-10), senior 157-pounder Alex Somer (34-9), senior 190-pounder Ricardo Castillo (22-10), junior 215-pounder David Lopez (22-10) and senior 285-pounder Jude Colombe (20-8).

DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 19:Greeley Central’s Mikai Alirez wrestles with Erie’s Ramon Salazar during their 4A 126 pound state final match on the third day of the 2022 CHSAA State Wrestling Tournament in Ball Arena in Denver Feb. 19, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Greeley Tribune file photo)

Greeley Central Wildcats

A young, scrappy Greeley Central team scored 10 points to sit in 15th place.

The Wildcats went 3-3 with junior 126-pounder Mikai Alirez (37-2), freshman 144-pounder Noah Garcia-Salazar (33-10) and senior 285-pounder Eric Hernandez (34-9) picking up victories.

Bobby Fernandez covers high school sports for the Greeley Tribune. Reach him at (970) 392-4478, by email at bfernandez@greeleytribune.com or on Twitter @BobbyDFernandez.


This article was originally published in Greeley Tribune