DENVER — One way to show teams you mean business is to perform well in front of your colleagues.
That’s exactly what Riverdale Ridge High School did at the three-day state 4A wrestling tournament at Ball Arena in Denver.
Three team members .. AJ Hague (113 pounds), Domonic Cerda (145 pounds) and Ian Ingalls (106 pounds) placed this year.
Hague (40-3) breezed through the first two rounds. He earned a major decision win over Gage Duetsch of Mead and pinned Lewis Palmer’s Tommy Blackmon in the quarterfinals. Jackzen Rairdon of Thompson Valley beat Hague 7-0 in the semifinals last night.
Hague won his two consolation round matches Feb. 19, a pinfall win over David Estrada of Thomas Jefferson and a 7-3 decision over Pueblo County’s Izaiah Padilla for third place.
Cerda (34-13) wrapped up his prep career by taking fifth at 145 pounds. took fifth at 145 pounds. Cerda, who missed much of last year’s campaign, including the state meet in Colorado Springs. beat Ignacio Velasco and Brendan Young to start the tournament. Tyler Valdez of Falcon beat Cerda in the semifinals.
“I wasn’t really doing anything too different, just trying to keep my head in the right state of mind and take what I have been wanting,” Cerda said. “In my opinion, it doesn’t matter to me how my opponents wrestle. All I know is I have to beat them, and I try to.”
Cerda lost in the consolation semifinals to Ethan Sinclair of Greeley West. Cerda beat Isaac Padgett of Loveland 7-1 in the fifth-place match.
Cerda missed last year because of academic issues. He got his grades up and “didn’t stop practicing.” Cerda is heading to the Western Welding Academy in Gillette, Wyoming, next year.
“With this being my last year, it is getting harder and harder for me, especially coming into the last day of the state tournament,” he said Feb. 19 before finishing his fifth-place effort. Ian Ingalls (31-8) took sixth at 106 pounds. Ingalls won his first two matches. He pinned JohnPaul Espinoza of Grand Junction and earned a 4-3 decision of Greeley West’s Julian Chavez. Mesa Ridge’s Damien Reyes beat Ingalls 3-0 in the semifinals. James Pantoja of Westminster slipped past Ingalls 6-5 in the consolation semifinals, and Isaiah Harrison of Mountain View beat Ingalls 5-3 in the fifth-place match.
Wes Harden (20-21) won once in three tries, a 3-2 decision over Coronado’s Alex Hermosillo in the 152-pound consolation round.