Wrestling: Aurora sends 26 wrestlers to state tournament

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Class 5A Region 1 Wrestling 2.16.13
Eaglecrest senior Mike Howshar, right, locks up with Douglas County’s Jamin Smith during his 3-2 victory in the 285-pound championship match at the Class 5A Region 1 wrestling tournament on Feb. 16, 2013, at Smoky Hill High School. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Twenty-six city wrestlers will take the mats at the state wrestling tournament after surviving regional tournaments over the weekend.

Eight different Aurora programs have at least one qualifier for the state tournament, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Cherokee Trail has a city-best six wrestlers headed to the Class 5A tournament, including two that go in with high seeds due to winning championships at the Region 3 tournament at Loveland. Junior 152-pounder Harley Korte and senior 170-pounder Diego Rogel won their respective weights, which helped them in the state draws released Sunday by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

Five of the Cougars’ six qualifiers will be first-timers — including seniors Jalen Reyes (160), Trent Rogers (182) and heavyweight Garrett Zimmerman — but senior 132-pounder Bruno Nicoletti makes his third straight trip to the Pepsi Center and is intent on improving on his fifth-place result last season at 106 pounds.

Eaglecrest, Grandview and Regis Jesuit each moved four wrestlers on to the state tournament, while Gateway and Overland snared two spots each and Smoky Hill one in the 5A tournament.

Junior Casillas is again Vista PEAK’s lone state representative, as the junior 106-pounder used a wrestleback to earn his way into the 4A tournament.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555

AURORA CLASS 5A/4A STATE TOURNAMENT QUALIFIERS

CHEROKEE TRAIL (6): Bruno Nicoletti, sr. (132 pounds), Harley Korte, jr. (152), Jalen Reyes, sr. (160), Diego Rogel, sr. (170), Trent Rogers, sr. (182), Garrett Zimmerman, sr. (285); EAGLECREST (4): Jake Dugan, soph. (132), Adin Puris, sr. (170), Trevon Beauford, jr. (182), Mike Howshar, sr. (285); GATEWAY (3): Sergio Marquez, sr. (113), Josh Butler, sr. (138), Deyaun Trueblood, fr. (145); GRANDVIEW (4): Xavier Cardenas, fr. (113); Jaime Cardenas, jr. (132), Jordan Brown, sr. (160), Josh Vigil-Harrison, fr. (285); OVERLAND (3): Javier Alonso, sr. (182), Amer Tipura, sr. (220), Anthony Childs, sr. (285); REGIS JESUIT (4): Josh Redman, sr. (120), Donovan Ronan, soph. (126), Grant Neal, jr. (195), Nick Elgin, fr. (220); SMOKY HILL: Dexter Bess, jr. (220); VISTA PEAK (4A): Junior Casillas, jr. (106)

Full state tournament pairings, here.