2/12/2006 11:21:00 PM 


By Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel & Daily Sun

Grandview’s Matt Lucherini, right, holds on for a pin of Ponderosa’s Mac Cunningham in a Region 1 160-pound wrestleback Feb. 11 at Arapahoe High School. Lucherini was one of 23 Aurora wrestlers to qualify for the state tournament.

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Aurora first-round state matches

At Pepsi Center, Feb. 16


103 pounds

Upper bracket

Ruben Markerian, jr., Eaglecrest (26-14) vs. Philip Grout, fr., Northglenn (32-3)

Lower bracket

Eric Wilson, fr., Grandview (22-12) vs. Paul Montoya, soph., Brighton (33-7)

112 pounds

Upper bracket

Patrick Brown, soph., Grandview (29-7) vs. Brandon Ford, jr., Rampart (25-8)

Lower bracket

Nolan Myers, soph., Smoky Hill (32-6) vs. Alonzo Montoya, fr., Brighton (26-8)

125 pounds

Upper bracket

Nathan Childers, sr., Eaglecrest (35-7) vs. Tyler Gorek, jr., Arvada (35-8)

130 pounds

Upper bracket

Rocco DePaolo, sr., Eaglecrest (41-1) vs. Cory Gournic, sr., Columbine (30-11)

135 pounds

Upper bracket

John Hooper, jr., Regis (34-6) vs. Jason Ericsson, sr., Bear Creek (30-13)

Lower bracket

Ryan Olvera, soph., Eaglecrest (34-10) vs. Phil Schmedeman, sr., Douglas Co. (25-8)

140 pounds

Lower bracket

Addison MacDonald, sr., Grandview (23-11) vs. Mike Conklin, jr., Fort Collins (37-5)

145 pounds

Lower bracket

Jon Brascetta, sr., Grandview (28-3) vs. Ryan Kyllonen, fr., ThunderRidge (20-17)

152 pounds

Upper bracket

Pasha Tabatabai, jr., Regis (34-12) vs. Ryan Sanchez, sr., Arvada West (29-4)

Lower bracket

Brian Doyle, sr., Rangeview (24-9) vs. Matt Murphy, Chaparral, jr., (33-8)

Curtis McNary, sr., Grandview (20-1) vs. Jared Cruz, sr., Grand Junction Central (19-7)

160 pounds

Upper bracket

Servando Heredia, sr., Aurora Central (25-13) vs. Jon Montgomery, sr., Palmer (31-9)

Almir Hodzic, sr., Gateway (23-11) vs. Logan Hancock, sr., Grand Junction Central (34-7)

Lower bracket

Matt Lucherini, sr., Grandview (28-8) vs. Logan Johnson, sr., Mitchell (36-3)

Matt Strohm, jr., Regis (38-5) vs. Lee Nadeau, sr., Fort Collins (29-3)

171 pounds

Lower bracket

Jon Simpson, sr., Grandview (10-11) vs. Brennan Whitman, sr., Poudre (17-3)

189 pounds

Lower bracket

Kyle McKinnell, sr., Regis (35-8) vs. Brandon Johnson, sr., Rangeview (17-8)

215 pounds

Lower bracket

Zach Curtis, sr., Rangeview (27-11) vs. Robert Hoffschneider, jr., Columbine (25-7)

275 pounds

Upper bracket

Stephen Stahl, sr., Overland (24-10) vs. Mike McKnight, sr., Heritage (19-3)


189 pounds

Lower bracket

Kimball Jordan, jr., Cherokee Trail (24-13) vs. Tyler Pierandozzi, sr., Golden (28-7)

Twenty-three city wrestlers survive regionals
Aurora contingent includes 14 first-timers

By Courtney Oakes
The Aurora Daily Sun & Sentinel

LITTLETON | Region 1 looked brutal at the start of the season, and it lived up to that reputation Feb. 10-11 at Arapahoe High School.

But Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland and Rangeview proved their mettle against the best, combining for 25 placers and 15 qualifiers for the Feb. 16-18 Class 5A state wrestling tournament. Seven other Aurora wrestlers qualified elsewhere, plus one for the 4A tournament.

Fourteen of the city’s 23 qualifiers will make their first trip to state.

Grandview finished behind three-time state champ Ponderosa in the team chase. Jon Brascetta at 145 pounds and Curtis McNary at 152s won regional championships for the Wolves, who qualified seven — one less than last season.

Senior Matt Lucherini went into the Region 1 tournament seeded first at 160 pounds, but was pinned twice and looked like his season might come to a shocking end. But he got new life when Palmer’s Jon Montgomery beat Ponderosa’s Mac Cunningham to force a wrestleback. Lucherini wasted little time with his chance, pinning Cunningham in 1 minute, 59 seconds.

Grandview got first-timers in freshman Eric Wilson at 103 pounds, sophomore Patrick Brown — who finished as the regional runner-up after a championship match loss to Ponderosa’s Daniel Kelly — and seniors Addison MacDonald (140) and Jon Simpson (171). Simpson came in with a record of 7-10, but captured third place by decisioning Leif DeWolf of Palmer 9-6.

Tyler McGoffin (125), Zach Jones (189) and Penn Wade (215) also placed for Grandview.

Eaglecrest took sixth with four state qualifiers, headed by 130-pound regional champ Rocco DePaolo. Rangeview earned three spots — with Brian Doyle and Zach Curtis winning wrestlebacks — and Overland got in heavyweight Stephen Stahl.

DePaolo, Nate Childers and Ryan Olvera make return trips to state, while they are joined by newcomer Ruben Markerian. The 103-pound junior lost to Grandview’s Wilson in the third-place match.

DePaolo, intent on improving on his fifth-place finish from last season, breezed through the tournament with the exception of a small struggle with Fruita’s Matt Hamaker in the quarterfinals. DePaolo pinned Arapahoe’s Matt Croshal in a brisk championship match.

Olvera earned his second state berth in as many years by dominating Rangeview’s Harison Frawley 11-2 in the third-place match at 135 pounds. Childers lost to Ponderosa’s Ty Bennett in the third-place match at 125 pounds, but he still secured his third trip to the Pepsi Center.

Josh Neuberger (112) and A.J. Matthews (160) also placed, but did not advance to state.

Two of Rangeview’s three qualifiers are first-timers, led by 189-pound senior Brandon Johnson. Johnson got an impressive pin of Grand Junction’s Robert Tucker in the third-place match.

Brian Doyle and Zach Curtis each won wrestlebacks to punch their state tickets. Doyle wasted little time against Ponderosa’s Craig Keefover, jumping up 12-2 and holding on for a 22-12 decision. Curtis, who appeared at state last year, lost in the third-place match at 215 pounds so he had to defend his state berth against challenger LeRoy Vigil of Adams City. The two went to overtime in a 1-1 stalemate, but Curtis earned an escape point for the victory.

After Frawley lost to Olvera in the third-place match, he also had to wrestleback against Lakewood’s Wayne Enockson. Enockson was called for a stall with 3.9 seconds left, tying the match at 6-6 going into overtime. Neither wrestler scored, and Enockson got the down position for the second extra session. He got an escape point for the win.

Norris Le placed fifth at 112 pounds as did heavyweight Justin Craig, but they did not advance to state.

Overland had three placers in Stahl, Nathan Zeleski and Aaron Behm, but only the heavyweight made his way through to state.

Stahl came into the tournament with a record of 20-9, second-best to Arapahoe's Bobby Strain, the eventual champion. Stahl lost a disappointing 8-5 quarterfinal to Rangeview's Curtis, but he rampaged through the consolation bracket with four pins in a row to take third. Stahl overwhelmed Grand Junction's Isaac Valentine in the third-place match.

Freshman Behm lost to Grandview's Wilson in the consolation semifinals and then went down to Adams City's Ruben Sanchez in the fifth-place match. Zeleski led Keefover late in their consolation semi, but he lost 7-4 and eventually fell to Doyle in the fifth-place match.

In Region 2 action at Green Mountain, Regis claimed four spots and Smoky Hill one in 112-pound sophomore Nolan Myers.

The Raiders took sixth place as a team with three first-time qualifiers and a second-timer in junior 135-pounder John Hooper. Junior Matt Strohm was the No. 1 seed at 160 pounds and he got through to state, as did 152-pound junior Pasha Tabatabai and 189-pound senior Kyle McKinnell.

Almir Hodzic represents Gateway after making his way through the 160-pound field at Region 3, while the same weight bracket will include Aurora Central’s Servando Heredia from Region 4.

Cherokee Trail junior Kimball Jordan made the 4A bracket at 189 pounds. For the second year in a row, the Cougars qualified a single wrestler for state. Senior Devin DeAntonis couldn’t earn a return trip in Region 2 action at Mullen.