DENVER - Despite a strong first day which included a big-time upset, Ralston Valley wrestling didn’t parlay that to the podium.
Still, the Mustangs had a good season, a better regionals and had a pair of wrestlers place Saturday at the Colorado Wrestling State Championships at the Pepsi Center.
Ralston Valley finished with a total team score of 38, good for a 16th place finish in 5A, behind Jeffco rivals Arvada West (eighth with 65.5 points) and Pomona (5A team champions with 125 points).
But the Mustangs qualified five wrestlers for the tournament and on the first day the Ralston Valley looked as good as any team in in the tournament.
Four of the Mustangs five state qualifiers all won their opening round matches on Thursday.
That included one of the biggest upsets of the entire tournament when senior Isaac Arellano upset Pomona’s Travis Torres at 113 pounds with a 12-4 major decision. Torres was one of the top ranked wrestlers at 113 pounds all season.
“It’s a complete underdog win,” Arellano said. “He’s a smart wrestler and is aggressive, but to be honest I just think I wanted it more. It’s my last year and its state.”
Arellano used the huge victory to fuel his run to the fifth place match. However, he fell to Northglenn’s Maurisio Garcia, who pinned him at 1:40.
Ralston Valley senior Jakob Buys was the Mustangs’ top wrestler at the tournament. At 220 pounds Buys rolled through the tournament before stumbling one match shy of making it to the finals.
But Buys rallied to earn a spot third place match and was then award third place after Lakewood’s Nick Debruyn was forced to forfeit because of an injury he sustained earlier in the tournament.
“Just making it to this tournament defines you an excellent wrestler,” Ralston Valley coach Bruce Pearson said. “There are so many good wrestlers at this tournament. Anything you can achieve once you get here is pretty special.”