LAFAYETTE | The center of the Colorado wrestling world and several surrounding states was at Centaurus High School on Friday and Saturday with the rugged Top of the Rockies tournament.
Aurora’s only entry in the tournament featuring 29 teams from five states (Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas) was Grandview, which finished 17th with 72 points.
Two Wolves reached the medal podium, as senior 103-pounder Josh Federico finished second and senior 112-pounder Eric Ruoff came in sixth.
Federico — who placed fifth at last season’s Top of the Rockies tournament and took the same place at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament — became the first Grandview wrestler to reach the finals of the prestigious tournament since Jon Brascetta won the 145-pound title in 2006. (Correction, Jon Brascetta finished third at TOR in 2006. Curtis McNary made it to the championship match and finished second at 152.)
Federico came in as the second-ranked wrestler in 5A at 103 pounds this season and rolled into the championship match with a win by major decision and pin and two by technical fall. His opponent, Bryce Meredith — a freshman from Cheyenne Central, Wyo. — had a first-round bye and won by pin, major decision and decision.
Meredith, the No. 2-ranked wrestler in Wyoming’s 4A classification, wasted little time in the first championship match in front of a packed house, taking Federico down right away and putting him on his back several times to take a commanding 11-0 lead after one period. Federico avoided a pin, but another Meredith takedown early in the second period led to a near fall that finished off a 16-0 technical fall.
Pomona freshman Josh Rosales, the top-ranked 103 pounder in 5A who beat Federico early in the season at the Grandview Duals, placed third with an 8-4 decision over Joey Murillo of Franklin, Texas. Rosales' Panthers won the tournament with 176.5 points, coming in ahead of Greeley West with 136 and Green River, Wyo., with 134.
Ruoff was pinned by eventual champion Darin Sisneros of Alamosa in the 112-pound quarterfinals, but he went on to win two matches in the consolation bracket and moved into the fifth-place match after a 5-0 loss to Cherry Creek’s Zach Finesilver. Ruoff lost a 9-4 decision to Valley’s Andrew Weakland in the fifth-place match to finish the tournament 3-3. He is 24-10 so far in his first varsity season.
Grandview — which can take the Centennial League championship with a win at Cherry Creek on Jan. 27 — had five wrestlers win two matches in 119-pounder Tony Mendieta, 130-pounder Alejandro Salazar, 140-pounder Sean Burroughs, 189-pounder Pavlo Ivanusa and heavyweight Andrew Vafides, who came a win away from making the placing round.
2011 TOP OF THE ROCKIES
At Centaurus High School, Jan. 21-22
Team scores: 1. Pomona 176.50 points; 2. Greeley West 136; 3. Green River (Wyo.) 134; 4. Rio Rancho (N.M.) 130; 5. Alamosa 126.50; 6. Broomfield 124.50; 7. Grand Island (Neb.) 116.50; 8. Roosevelt 98; 9. Arvada 97.50; 10. Loveland 93; 11. Ponderosa 84.5; 12. Mountain Range 81; 13. Central (G.J.) 76; 14. Valley 75.50; 15. Pueblo South 74; 16. Legacy 72.50; 17. Grandview 72; 18. Thompson Valley 68; 19. Cheyenne Central (Wyo.) 67.5; 20. Cherry Creek 67; 21. Fort Lupton 64.50; 22. Rocky Mountain 64; 23. Brighton 59.50; 24. Franklin (Texas) 47.50; T25. Kelly Walsh (Wyo.) 43; T25. Fort Morgan 43; 27. Denver East 41.50; 28. Centaurus 37.50; 29. Chaparral 26
103 pounds: Bryce Meredith (Cheyenne Central, Wyo.) tech fall Josh Federico (Grandview), 16-0
112 pounds: Darin Sisneros (Alamosa) dec. Trey Trujillo (Grand Island, Neb.), 11-9
119 pounds: Emilio Martinez (Greeley West) pinned Timothy Urenda (Pueblo South), 3:38
125 pounds: Courtland Hacker (Broomfield) dec. Mario Luna (Green River, Wyo.), 11-6
130 pounds: Andrew Reidy (Grand Island, Neb.) dec. CJ York (Roosevelt), 4-3
135 pounds: Joseph Martinez (Greeley West) dec. Matt Nunez (Roosevelt), 5-3
140 pounds: Garrett Vasquez (Loveland) maj. dec. Cory Mitze (Mountain Range), 13-4
145 pounds: Brady Turnbull (Green River, Wyo.) tech fall John Lewis (Ponderosa), 18-3
152 pounds: Justin Frazier (Pomona) dec. Brandon Hoffman (Franklin, Texas), 7-3
160 pounds: Marcos Peralta (Arvada) maj. dec. Zack Rogers (Rio Rancho, N.M.), 17-9
171 pounds: Austin Gabel (Ponderosa) dec. Dezmon Fernandez (Legacy), 9-2
189 pounds: Dwight Howes (Arvada) pinned Logan Shipp (Greeley West), 3:33
215 pounds: Tanner Harms (Cherry Creek) maj. dec. Timmy Ornelas (Ft. Lupton), 18-9
285 pounds: Connor Medbury (Loveland) pinned Jorge Morales (Mountain Range), 0:57
Aurora fifth-place match
112 pounds: Andrew Weakland (Valley) dec. Eric Ruoff (Grandview), 9-4