Photo by Tamie Meck Delta’s Panthers placed 12 of 14 wrestlers to earn 182 points and place second at the 25th annual Delta Invitational Wrestling Tournament on Dec. 8.The Delta Panthers placed 12 wrestlers and earned 182 points to place second at the 2012 Delta Invitational tournament.
"First would have been nice, but we'll take second," said Panthers head coach Clayton Curtis.
This marked the 25th year for the tournament. Paonia topped the field of 11 schools, earning 234 points for the win. Grand Valley placed third with 141 points.
Shane Anderson was the sole tournament champion for Delta. Anderson, a senior wrestling at 132 pounds, opened with a pin in 1:28 over Tanner Bizer of Hotchkiss and Coy Zang of Rifle in 1:26 to advance to the championship round. He defeated Rifle's Isaac Rider, 7-3, for the title.
Anderson, a 2012 state qualifier at 126 pounds, is now 9-0.
Junior Hayes McCracken (120) pinned Hunter Hall of Durango in 2:42 to place fifth. Tylon Cordova was 3-2 and placed fourth at 126 pounds after falling to Olathe's Ben Pridy. At 170, Cordell Stroud was 2-2 and placed fifth with a first-round pin over Patrick Cunnion of Durango.
Curtis foresees a good season for senior Hunter Brasfield, who placed fifth Saturday. Brasfield pinned second-ranked Marcus Velasquez at last week's Montrose dual. He lost some matches he probably shouldn't have at Saturday's tournament, said Curtis, "But that's how it goes. You've got to learn how to bounce back."
At 182, Kyle Collins was 3-1 and had a third-round pin over Eric Steckel of Hotchkiss to place third. His only loss of the day was to Tony Galaviz of Rifle, who placed second. Rifle had four wrestlers competing in the 182 division.
Senior 220-pounder Lino Ortiz went into double overtime against Mario Madaleno of Cedaredge after the match ended in a 0-0 tie. Madaleno managed a pin for the win, and Ortiz, who was 2-2 on the day, went on to pin Omar Lerma of Rifle to place fifth.
Of Delta's 12 placers, five were sophomores. Heavyweight Marcus Garcia pinned wrestlers from Coal Ridge and Rifle to advance to the championship round. Garcia lost to third-ranked junior Tony Darling of Paonia after getting pinned 15 seconds into the first round.
Jayden Chynoweth was the sole second-place finisher for Delta. Chynoweth (106) was 2-1 with wins over Cortez and Hotchkiss. He lost in a 15-7 decision to Grand Valley senior Cody Pfau. And Alejandro Medina placed fifth after pinning Oscar Tovar of Rifle in 4:16.
David Brown (113) was 2-2 and lost by a 4-1 decision against Olathe's Austin Shank in the final round to place fourth. Derek Horn lost to Garrett Marcum of Durango to place sixth at 145 pounds.
Part of the success of the younger wrestlers is due to the fact that they are starting to wrestle at a younger age.
Curtis has coached the middle school program for three years. That effort, combined with more participation in summer programs (Delta sent 19 wrestlers to camp last summer), is starting to pay off.
Before the middle school program got underway, his freshmen would come in green. "My freshmen are starting to come in more prepared," said Curtis. "Now they're coming in knowing the system and I think that's helping out a ton ... Now they look like they know how to wrestle."
Delta opened the season with a 59-15 win against Montrose. It's been 10 years since they defeated the Indians, said Curtis. On Saturday, the junior varsity squad wrestled at Rifle, and Curtis said he received reports on Saturday that they were doing well. "It's exciting for the kids to know that they are coming along and hard work is paying off."