2/23/2008 1:58:00 AM   
At the Pepsi Center, Denver

Team scores
- 1. Ponderosa 130, 2. Loveland 93, 3. Grandview 77, 4. Northglenn 70, 5. Centaurus 65, 6. Rocky Mountain 64.5, 7. Legacy 45.5, 8. Pomona 41.5, 9. Coronado 40, 10. Lakewood 39, 11. Durango 37, 12. Grand Junction 36.5, 13. Central (G.J.) 29, 14. ThunderRidge 28, T15. Rampart 23, T15. Regis 23, 17. Poudre 22, T18. Denver East 21, T18. Sand Creek 21, 20. Brighton 18.5, 21. Chaparral 18, 22. Douglas County 16.5, 23. Standley Lake 16, T24. Heritage 15, T24. Lewis-Palmer 15, T26. Air Academy 14, T26. Doherty 14, T26. Fruita Monument 14, T26. Pine Creek 14, 30. Smoky Hill 13, T31. Boulder 11, T31. Mitchell 11, 33. Palmer 10.5, 34. Highlands Ranch 8.5, 35. Dakota Ridge 6, T36. Adams City 5, T36. Aurora Central 5, T36. Fairview 5, T36. Wasson 5, T40. Arapahoe 4, T40. Fort Collins 4, T40. Overland 4, 43. Arvada West 3, T44. Bear Creek 2, T44. Gateway 2, T44. Horizon 2, 47. Rangeview 1

Aurora semifinal matches

112 pounds

Eric Wilson (Grandview) pinned Jeremy Schmitt (Rocky Mtn.), 6:43

125 pounds

Zeke Hofer (Ponderosa) dec. Nolan Myers (Smoky Hill), 4-3

135 pounds

Patrick Brown (Grandview) dec. Austin Gabel (Ponderosa), 2-1 (3OT)

152 pounds

Denzel Washington (Regis) dec. Chad Stich (Lewis-Palmer), 10-4

285 pounds

Cody Gilmore (Grandview) pinned Lane Stuht (Loveland), 1:14

Aurora quarterfinal matches

Class 5A

112 pounds

Eric Wilson (Grandview) dec. Devon Cox (Palmer), 4-1

119 pounds

Nolan Myers (Smoky Hill) dec. Justin Sturgil (Wasson), 5-1

135 pounds

Patrick Brown (Grandview) dec. Kurtis Ramsey (Loveland), 8-6

Austin Gabel (Ponderosa) dec. Daniel Armijo (Aurora Central), 4-1

145 pounds

Daniel Kelly (Ponderosa) dec. Justin Freeman (Gateway), 13-2

152 pounds

Denzel Washington (Regis) dec. Chris Jacobs (Central (G.J.)), 10-9

Stephone Kling (Ponderosa) dec. Bryce Lucherini (Grandview) 7-0

Wrestling: Four city wrestlers earn title shots
Grandview's Wilson, Brown, Gilmore and Regis' Washington keep championship dreams alive

By Courtney Oakes
The Aurora Sentinel

DENVER | A banner day for Aurora at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament on Feb. 22 could lead to another.

The city has four qualifiers for state championship matches on Feb. 23, including three from Grandview, which also had three wrestlers stay alive in the placing round to jump into the No. 3 spot in the team standings behind Ponderosa and Loveland.

The Wolves' all-time best finish is seventh and they have a good chance to better that depending on what Eric Wilson (112 pounds), Patrick Brown (135 pounds) and heavyweight Cody Gilmore do in their championship matches. Regis freshman Denzel Washington rounds out Aurora's finals contingent as he has a shot at the 152-pound title.

Third-round consolation matches in 5A begin at 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 23, followed immediately by consolation semifinals. Fifth-place matches kick off the placing round at 3 p.m., with third-place matches following. The Parade of Champions for all classes is at 6:30 p.m.

Grandview has at least one state finalist for the fourth year in a row. In 2005, Stephen Eberle and Dan Brascetta both lost in their championship matches, but Jon Brascetta and Curtis McNary both won in 2006. Tyler McGoffin lost in last season's 135-pound final.

"These guys know it can be done, they've seen that it's not just guys at other schools, but guys in our school and community who can get it done," Grandview coach Greg Maestas said. "They worked out with those guys when they were in the room, and now it's their turn. Hopefully that will carry over."

Wilson and Brown advanced with thrilling overtime semifinals, while Gilmore turned in another short match that resulted in a pin.

Wilson avenged an 5-1 loss to Rocky Mountain's Jeremy Schmitt at the Arvada West Invitational with a win when it mattered most. He and Schmitt went to overtime tied 4-4, but Wilson got the deciding takedown with under 30 seconds left and punctuated his victory by pinning Schmitt with 17 seconds remaining.

"It feels great, there was a lot of amazing competition out there," Wilson said. "He just caught me once at Arvada West, so I knew there were some things I had to work on in practice because I knew I'd probably be seeing him down here.

"I could tell he was tired and I was still in really good shape, so I knew I could get the takedown."

Wilson will meet Northglenn's Phil Grout in the championship match. He hasn't wrestled at the varsity level against Grout, who improved to 44-1 with a pin of Heritage's Gabe Mamigonian.

Brown's previous two wins already assured him of placing for the first time in three trips to state, but he didn't stop with that. He tangled with talented Ponderosa freshman Austin Gabel and the two waged a battle for three periods, tying 1-1 as Brown scored on a stall call and Gabel on an escape.

The two were scoreless in overtime and neither could earn an escape point in two 30-second double overtime periods, but Brown rode Gabel out in the triple overtime period to win it.

"That's so sweet; I've never placed before, so that was a big win for me," Brown said. "That was the closest match I've ever been in, but my conditioning made the difference. Coach works us pretty hard, so that helped pull me through."

Brown's championship path is blocked by Pomona's Nick Jones, won beat Chaparral's Jackson Julian by major decision in the other semifinal. Jones is 38-2 and has been ranked No. 1 all season.

Gilmore didn't place at state last season, but he's a major threat to win a state title this year after pinning all three of his opponents. He needed just 1:14 to down Loveland's Lane Stuht in the semifinals, moving him into the championship match opposite Sand Creek's Ray Hatchett. Hatchett earned a 4-1 upset win over Ponderosa's Taylor Stam, who'd beaten Gilmore in two of three meetings on the season. Gilmore beat Hatchett twice last season.

Washington caused a stir when he upset Poudre's Zach Bekkedahl in the first round and he kept creating a buzz with two more victories to give himself a shot at the state championship in his debut season.

A furious 10-9 decision over Central of Grand Junction's Chris Jacobs - in which the lead changed three times in the final 30 seconds - put Washington into the semis against Lewis Palmer's Chad Stich, who upset top-seeded Dietrick Turney of Brighton in the quarterfinals.

Washington built a 5-0 lead after period and watched Stich pull within a point in the second period, but a paid of takedowns sealed the victory.

Ponderosa's Stephone Kling made it through the other half of the bracket with a 10-6 win over Douglas County's Ryan Swanson.

Smoky Hill senior Nolan Myers lost a tough 4-3 decision to Ponderosa's Zeke Hofer in a 125-pound semifinal, but is assured of placing for the first time in three trips to state. He is alive in the consolation semifinals with a chance to wrestle for third place.

Seven other Aurora wrestlers can still place if they win their first match of the day. Grandview's John Godin at 103 pounds, Regis' Danny Bieshaar and Overland's Josh Christopher at 130 pounds, Aurora Central's Daniel Armijo at 135 pounds, Grandview's Bryce Lucherini at 152 pounds, Smoky Hill's Ethan Myers at 171 pounds and Grandview's Penn Wade at 215 pounds.