Pomona star gets second crown
Nick Jones continues a family tradition with a triumph for a title in the 135-pound class
Nick Jones has come a long way.

"As a freshman, he had more body fat than anybody else on the team," said father and Pomona coach Noomis Jones Sr.

Four years later, a broken ankle and more ups and downs than an Elitch Gardens roller coaster, Nick Jones is a two-time Class 5A state champion.

Shortly after the Pepsi Center spotlight dimmed on Loveland's Tyler Graff and his fourth state title, Jones took the mat under much different circumstances.

"It relieves a lot of pressure," said Jones, of following Graff. "He went out there trying to win four state championships, all I had to do was go out and win two."

Jones, whose brother Noomis Jr. was a state champion in 2006, wasted little time against a familiar foe in Grandview's Patrick Brown, whom he had beaten 19-8 earlier in the season at 135 pounds. A takedown and two near-falls in the first period allowed Jones to open up a 7-0 lead.

Four minutes later, Jones had a second title with a 15-3 decision, and that meant bragging rights around the dinner table for years to come.

"That's all I've been thinking about this weekend," said Nick Jones, whose brother wrestles at Adams State. "I'm sure (Noomis) will have some words for me."

A night of good quality matches at the state's highest classification started with Grandview's Eric Wilson earning a 2-0 overtime victory over defending 112-pound champion Philip Grout of Northglenn.

"I just wanted to keep it close," said Wilson, who also knocked off 103-pound defending champion Jeremy Schmitt of Rocky Mountain in overtime in the semifinals. "I knew he was stronger than me; I just needed to be smarter all six minutes."

In the shadow of Graff, Loveland junior Josh Kreimier completed the only other undefeated season (42-0) with a 7-4, last-second victory over Legacy's Chris Wessel.

"I've had several matches like that, where I've had to come back and win in the final 10 seconds, and I just knew the match was never over," Kreimier said. "I just tried to keep shooting and eventually the refs will see he's just trying to defend it."

Regis freshman Denzel Washington, who finished fourth last week in the regional tournament, stunned Ponderosa's Stephone Kling 5-2 in the 152-pound class to become the only big-school freshman champion.

Ponderosa won its sixth consecutive team title with 160 points, and crowned champions Jake Snider (140) and Daniel Kelly (145). Loveland, with Graff, Kreimier and 189-pound champion Luke Vandenburg, finished second with 128 points, followed by Grandview (89 and two champions), Rocky Mountain (82.5) and Centaurus (80 and two champions).

Loveland's Josh Kreimier, left, catches his breath after defeating Legacy's Chris Wessel in a takedown in their 119-pound match on Saturday. Kreimier finished his season undefeated at 42-0 after his 7-4, last-second victory. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)