Area wrestling teams to tangle

— As three local teams face off in Hayden tonight, wrestlers will get the chance to see who stands at the top of Routt County wrestling.

Unfortunately, there might not be much of a battle as Hayden, Steamboat and Soroco enter into tonight's triangular meet with low numbers.

With Hayden's numbers down to eight wrestlers for the meet, Steamboat bringing a handful of wrestlers and Soroco fielding a squad with few heavier weights, the matches will be limited.

"We might not pair up in some weights. It's getting pretty tough not pairing up in weights," Tigers coach John Svoboda said.

Perhaps the most anticipated match will come from Hayden's Tanner Copeland and Steamboat's Will Zimmerer. Although Copeland has wrestled at 215 pounds recently, Svoboda said he might move him up to heavyweight to match up with Zimmerer.

The Sailors and Tigers will likely match up again at 119 pounds where Sailor Dave Gittleson will meet Tiger Jake Booco.

Although the Tigers and Sailors will not have anyone matching up with Rams top wrestler Josh Iacovetto at 103 pounds, the Rams' lower-weight wrestlers should find some strong competition in Hayden.

"Soroco is always good," Svoboda said. "They always have tough kids."

Both Hayden and Steamboat will be entering tonight's competition coming off one of their biggest tournaments of the season. Last weekend, they traveled to Salida for a 24-team tournament drawing 2A to 5A schools across Colorado.

Although one of the smaller schools, Hayden was able to stake a claim in Salida, placing seventh overall and taking home three top-four finishes.

In his first loss of the season, 152-pounder Kelly Bruchez lost his second-round match to a Lake County wrestler and his final match to a Del Norte wrestler to put him in fourth place in the tournament.

"He had the toughest weight class there were a couple returning state placers," Svoboda said.

Hayden's 112-pounder, Troy Kochenower, and 122-pounder Jake Doolin took fifth place.

Steamboat's only placer was Zimmerer as he captured sixth. Zimmerer was pinned in the first round by the tournament champion, Dominic Williams of Harrison. Zimmerer went on to win his next two matches as he pinned Bayfield's Cameron King and Hayden's Alan Stark.

Although Zimmerer lost his fourth-round match to St. Mary's Rich Russel, he stayed in the tournament to wrestle for fifth place where Mikey Duran pinned him.

The Sailors' already low-manned team felt the absence of two of its regular starters. Gittleson, Steamboat's 119-pounder, did not wrestle this weekend because of injuries and 125-pounder Justin O'Leary left the team.

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