Wrestling: Semifinalists abound for city teams


Fifteen Aurora wrestlers within win of state

The Aurora Sentinel
Published: Saturday, February 14, 2009 1:07 AM MST
AURORA | The state wrestling picture began to take shape after the first day of regional action Feb.13.

Grandview, Eaglecrest and Overland combined to send seven wrestlers to the semifinals at the Class 5A Region 1 tournament at Eaglecrest, with a win assuring them of a spot at the 5A state tournament Feb. 19-21 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

The Wolves led the way with four semifinalists in John Godin (112 pounds), Eric Wilson (119 pounds), Michael Balagna (125 pounds) and Joshua Starr (152 pounds), all returning state qualifiers. Grandview sits in fourth place in the team standings with 60 points, trailing Pomona (90.5), Ponderosa (86) and Arapahoe (66).

Eaglecrest's best hopes lie with 119-pounder Lee Halpin who faces Wilson in the semifinals and 130-pounder Dan Moore, who won his 100th career match in the quarterfinals to give himself an inside shot at making state.

Overland senior Josh Christopher was a state placer last season and is within a match of assuring himself a third career trip to state.

Consolation matches resume at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 14. They will be followed by championship semifinals, with finals expected to begin at 4 p.m. Wrestlebacks, if necessary, will follow championship matches.

Gateway and Regis netted four semifinal slots each at the Region 3 tournament at Legacy High School in Broomfield and sit in seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the team standings.

The Olys seeking their largest state contingent in many years have their two returning state qualifiers in the mix in junior 130-pounder LaDaris Mungin and 152-pound senior Justin Freeman, with 145-pound senior Brent Willis and freshman 119-pounder Brendan Muniz .

Regis' two returning state qualifiers are also in the semifinal mix in 140-pound senior Zach Atencio and 145-pound senior Powell Slinkard, while 135-pound junior Andrew Onorato and 152-pound freshman John Crawley also stayed alive in the championship bracket.

Results weren't available for Region 2 at Smoky Hill and Region 4 at Central of Grand Junction.

Losers of semifinal matches can still qualify for state by making their way through the consolation bracket to the third-place match.


Feb.  13 (through quarterfinal rounds)

Region 1 (at Eaglecrest)

Team scores
1. Pomona 90.5, 2. Ponderosa 86, 3. Arapahoe 66, 4. Grandview 60, 5. Standley Lake 55, 6. Sand Creek 46.5, 7. Columbine 45, T8. Doherty 38, T8. Green Mountain 38, 10. Highlands Ranch 37.5, T11. Eaglecrest 35, T11. Fountain-Fort Carson 35, 13. Monarch 31, 14. Fairview 28, 15. Denver East 27, 16. Overland 16

Aurora Semifinals

112 pounds
John Godin (Grandview) vs. Andrew Lujan (Standley Lake)

119 pounds Lee Halpin (Eaglecrest) vs. Eric Wilson (Grandview)

125 pounds Alex Hinojosa (Ponderosa) vs. Michael Balagna (Grandview)

130 pounds Dan Moore (Eaglecrest) vs. Mike Jaquess (Sand Creek)

135 pounds R.J. Gaither (Columbine) vs. Josh Christopher (Overland)

152 pounds Steven Kelly (Ponderosa) vs. Joshua Starr (Grandview)

Region 3 (at Legacy)

Team scores
1. Chaparral 92, 2. Legacy 66, 3. Lakewood 64. 4. Air Academy 55, 5. Fruita-Monument 53.5, 6. Brighton 53, 7. Gateway 42, 8. Regis 41.5, 9. Westminster 41, 10. Durango 40, 11. ThunderRidge 33, 12. Chatfield 22, 13. Lincoln 19, 14. Thornton 15, 15. Hinkley 12, 16. Dakota Ridge 11

Aurora Semifinals

112 pounds
C.J. Hamby (Durango) vs. Brandon Muniz (Gateway)

130 pounds LaDaris Mungin (Gateway) vs. Chris Wessel (Legacy)

135 pounds Dallin Milner (Air Academy) vs. Andrew Onorato (Regis)

140 pounds Justin Frazer (Lakewood) vs. Zach Atencio (Regis)

145 pounds Taylor Hollister (Air Academy) vs. Powell Slinkard (Regis)

145 pounds Brent Willis (Gateway) vs. Tyler Stenger (Chaparral)

152 pounds Jacob Southard (Legacy) vs. John Crowley (Regis)

152 pounds Justin Freeman (Gateway) vs. Jackson Julian (Chaparral)