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ELIZABETH – Fort Lupton freshman Jacob Duran won his three matches in the class 3A, Region 4 tournament at Elizabeth High School over the weekend. He did so with a relative amount of ease.
Duran, who won the 106-pound regional championship, contested one, full-length match. That was a 7-1 decision over Johnny Masopost of Florence in the semifinals.
“My shots were working. I kept on repeating and repeating the entire match,” Duran said. “You can’t let your opponent get started. They’ll get their confidence back and come back and beat you.”
He pinned his two other opponents in a total of six minutes.
“It’s going to be a lot of tough competition at state,” he said. “If I wrestle my hardest and do my best, I should come out on top.”
Jody Sandoval II, two-time state champion for the Bluedevils, rolled through the 126-pound bracket at regionals. He pinned all four of his opponents in a combined time of a bit more than 6 ½ minutes.
Sandoval used an arm bar move to pin Austin Tapia of Pueblo County in the semifinals to get his third straight state berth.
“It’s something you look for and something your opponent gives you,” Sandoval said. “I just take what they are giving me. It feels like a regular tournament. I just have to wrestle like I know how.”
Jaylen Torrez beat Monte Vista’s Tyler Vigil 2-0 in the semifinals at 132 pounds. It gave Torrez his third trip to the state tournament. But Torrez didn’t get the winning two points until late in the match.
“It was tough. It went all three periods,” Torrez said. “It was way tougher than I thought. Oh man. I’m glad I won. I realized when I went down (took the bottom position) in the third period, I would win if I got out. I kept trying to ride leg, ride leg. I got a shimmy (shaking motions) out the back and got my points.”
Andrew Adame earned his second berth to the state meet by beating Monte Vista’s German Gastelum in the 220-pound semifinals. The final was 5-3.
“I just rode him on top. I tried to set up my shots,” Adame said. “I didn’t want him to get on his knees. My first trip, I was 285. This time, I’m 220s. I had to cut 25 pounds to get here. I practiced really well, and that made the weight come off easy. I don’t notice the difference.”
Devon Garcia (285) was third. Perhaps the most nervous wrestler was Derrian Jaramillo. The 113-pound freshman beat Caesar Sanchez of Manitou Springs 5-2 in a challenge match to secure his place in the state meet.AJ Garcia wound up fifth at 152 pounds.
The Bluedevils were second in the team standings. Lamar High School had 221 points to FLHS’ 156.5.
The quarterfinal round begins at 9:30 a.m., Friday, Feb. 16. The semifinals start at 7:15 p.m., and the finals start shortly after 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18.
“Don’t be as nervous. I was a sophomore before. Now I’m a senior,” Adame said of his upcoming trip to state. “I need to relax, set up my own shots and go out and have fun.”