|2/17/2008 11:26:00 PM|
Twenty-two Aurora qualifiers part of 5A/4A draw
By Courtney Oakes
The Aurora Sentinel
AURORA | A day after regional wrestling tournaments were completed around the state, the Colorado High School Activities Association released pairings for the 5A and 4A state wrestling tournaments.
Twenty-one 5A wrestlers and one 4A wrestler from Aurora qualified for the tournament, which runs Feb. 21-23 at the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver.
In regional qualifying tournaments around the state on Feb. 16, the city had four regional champions and had at least one wrestler qualify in all 5A weight classes except for 119 pounds.
Aurora's highest concentration of qualifiers is at 130 pounds and 135 pounds, where there are four city wrestlers in each bracket.
At 135 pounds, there are two all-Aurora first-round matches. Grandview senior Patrick Brown, the Region 1 champion, takes on Rangeview junior Ty Mackey and Region 2 runner-up Zach Atencio of Regis squares off against Aurora Central senior Daniel Armijo, the third-place finisher at Region 3.
Regis senior Danny Bieshaar, who placed fifth at state last year, headlines Aurora's group in the 130-pound classification. He lost the Region 2 championship match to Rocky Mountain's Tito Laureles, dropping him into the same half of the bracket with undefeated Loveland superstar Tyler Graff. The two could meet in the quarterfinals if Bieshaar (43-4) gets past Coronado freshman Nick Burghardt and Graff (36-0) handles Fairview's Gavin Patt as expected.
The other three 130-pounders are first-time qualifiers in Smoky Hill senior Joe Jones, Overland junior Joshua Christopher and Gateway sophomore LaDaris Mungin.
Jones and Mungin met in the Region 2 third-place match, with Jones prevailing. They are on opposite sides of the bracket, with Jones (38-8) opening against Doherty senior Nick Wells and Mungin (31-11) facing off with Ponderosa sophomore Steven Kelly. Christopher (13-7), the Trailblazers' lone qualifier, draws Region 2 champion Laureles in a tough first-round match.
Besides Brown, Aurora's other regional champions were Grandview's Eric Wilson (112 pounds) and Cody Gilmore (285 pounds) from Region 1 and Regis junior 140-pounder Powell Slinkard from Region 2.
Wilson (34-5), who placed third at state last year, is matched against Brighton's Rian Fry in the first round, while Gilmore opens against Pine Creek's Cole Fritz.
Slinkard begins his first state appearance against Grand Junction's Matt Bethka.
lone 4A state qualifier is Cherokee Trail senior Daniel Jordan, who
will make his second straight trip to the Pepsi Center.