PUEBLO — It was a year of firsts at the CHSAA state wrestling championships this year.
It was the first time the meet was held in Pueblo and the first time girls wrestling had a sanctioned championship event, something Calhan's Ciara Monger and Taylor Knox took full advantage of by making a little in the process history.
"Especially since this is the first year for girls," explained Knox. "It is incredible that I am the first girl to win at my weight class."
"We come from a very small school," added Monger. "So it's good to show up and knock the whole tournament out."
This year, there were also a lot of first-time winners, like Pueblo County senior Eric Griego.
Griego finally took the 120-pound weight class crown after not even qualifying his freshman year.
"I am feeling a bunch of different emotions," explained the Hornet senior. "Everything I have worked for my whole life has paid off. I couldn't ask for a better finish than that."
The Cheyenne Mountain wrestling team also took home their first state wrestling title in school history, adding to the illustrious wall of champions at CMHS.
"The day I got the job at Cheyenne Mountain, I interviewed with Kris Roberts and I looked at the banner and I asked 'where is the league or regional championship?'," joked Tyler Seaney, Cheyenne Mountain's head wrestling coach."He said we do not hang those here. And so it made me take a step back. I did not know if it was going to happen, but here we are."
But the most important first-time winner for the three-day event? Pine Creek senior Draygan Colonese, who honored his late friend in his first state championship win.
"Two days ago, my best friend actually killed himself," said Colonese, while holding back tears. "And his name was Xavier, but we all called him X. And I had to put that up for him. He has been my best friend since kindergarten. I just had to do that for him. And I was wrestling for him."
A tribute like nonother, because in the end, winning can cure anything.