PUEBLO — For a school that has won a lot of state championships, Cheyenne Mountain finally won its first wrestling state title on Saturday in the 4A classification.
Jake Baley would take the 220 crown by pin, with Nico Gagliardi winning the 195 class with a pin as well. That would vault Cheyenne Mountain into first place and would claim the 4A state title with 123.5 total points.
"It has been a long time coming," explained Gagliardi. "I was this close as a freshman, I came kind of close as a sophomore and junior year I set my mind to it. I said this is my year. I am not going to state, not to take first."
"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?,' explained Cheyenne Mountain head coach Tyler Seaney. "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."
The lone 5A Southern Colorado finalist was Pine Creek's Draygan Colonese. Colonese on with the pin on Traevin Osborn of Ponderosa in one minute and 22 seconds for the 170-pound championship.
"It feels unbelievable," exclaimed the senior. "I have been working at this so hard for so many years. I finally got it and I am so grateful."
Back to the 4A schools and man did we have a lot of finalists from Southern Colorado.
In the heavyweights, Mesa Ridge's Matt Moore pinned Cheyenne Mountain's Jesse Boley in 41 seconds to take the state title crown in the 285-weight class.
"It does not mean I am the best, it means I put in the most work," said Moore. "It means I have been the person who has been staying in the gym, at practice and moving the most."
In the 126-weight class, Discovery Canyon's Dom Hargrave took home 1st in a close 2-1 decision over Cheyenne Mountain's Nick Grizales, while in the 170-weight class, Coronado's Mitch Nowlan also won by decision 5 to 2 over Pueblo West's Hayden Crosson.
As for the Pueblo school, Pueblo East's Xavier Freeman took Pueblo County's Bryce Garcia in a Steel City Showdown in the 182 weight class, but it was Freeman who was able to take it in a 6-1 decision.
"Before this, I did not really believe in myself," stated Freeman. "But this year is different because I have been putting in more work and going out there and dominating. So this time I was meant to be there. Like I trained my butt off to get there and it paid off."
County would also have a winner on the day in Eric Griego in the 120 weight class.
"I am feeling a bunch of different emotions," exclaimed the senior. "Everything I have worked for my whole life has paid off. I couldn't ask for a better finish than that."
The Hornets also taking home the 2nd place team trophy with a final score of 102.