Cherokee Trail senior Andrew Chilton, right, opened his third trip to the Class 5A state wrestling tournament with a 6-5 win by ultimate tiebreaker over Douglas County’s Justin Kelchen on Feb. 20, 2020, at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Aurora’s qualifiers with at least one previous trip to state finished 9-1 on the opening day of this season’s tournament. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

DENVER | Experience definitely played a part in how the first round of the Class 5A and 4A state wrestling tournaments played out, as nine of the 14 wins recorded by Aurora wrestlers came from those who had been to the Pepsi Center before.

Only 10 of Aurora’s 33 qualifiers and only Eaglecrest junior Kyle Maccagnan — who had his 138-pound first round match stopped due to injury — failed to advance to the quarterfinals, which are scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Friday.

Half of Cherokee Trail’s Aurora-best contingent of 10 qualifiers posted victories, including all three with prior state experience in senior 120-pounder Andrew Chilton — a three-time qualifier who had the most dramatic match of the night with a 6-5 win in the ultimate tiebreaker — senior Brock LaBonde (152 pounds) and junior Sam Hart (220 pounds), a finalist last season.

The Cougars also had two first-time qualifiers advance in impressive fashion as both sophomore 106-pounder Derek Glenn Jr. and senior heavyweight Julian Williams each won quickly by fall to help their team to fourth place in the team standings after the first day.

Three of the four Grandview wrestlers to make the quarterfinals had previous state experience in seniors Alex Santillan at 132 pounds and Joe Renner at 182 pounds — both of whom are aiming to place for the third straight season — plus junior 106-pounder Frankie Sanchez Jr., while sophomore Sonny Quintana made a strong debut with a win by fall in a 126-pound first round match.

Two of Regis Jesuit’s three qualifiers had wrestled at Pepsi Center before and both junior Antonio Segura — the defending state champion at 145 pounds — and senior Antonio Sandora were opening round winners.

Eaglecrest’s Caeleb Knoll opened his third state tournament with a win by fall at 120 pounds.

First-time winners also included Smoky Hill heavyweight Alex Angeles in 5A and Vista PEAK’s Isaac Renas in the 4A 182 pound bracket.

The other 19 Aurora wrestlers who dropped first round matches will begin to wrestle in the consolation bracket at the same time as the quarterfinals.

Semifinals and another round of consolation matches is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Friday.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports


Feb. 21, 12:45 p.m., Pepsi Center

106 pounds: Upper bracketFRANKIE SANCHEZ JR., GRANDVIEW (37-4) vs. Vince Cabral, Pomona (28-8); Lower bracketDEREK GLENN JR., CHEROKEE TRAIL (35-6) vs. Nick Vicic, ThunderRidge (21-11)

120 pounds: Upper bracketANDREW CHILTON, CHEROKEE TRAIL (20-5) vs. Josiah Alvarado, Prairie View (37-9); Lower bracketCAELEB KNOLL, EAGLECREST (37-9) vs. Kyle Lewis, Mountain Range (30-7)

126 pounds: Upper bracket SONNY QUINTANA, GRANDVIEW (22-9) vs. Carsen Trujillo, Arapahoe (32-12)

132 pounds: Lower bracket ALEX SANTILLAN, GRANDVIEW (30-7) vs. Max Franz, Cherry Creek (41-7)

145 pounds: Upper bracket — ANTONIO SEGURA, REGIS JESUIT (44-5) vs. Rider Anderson, Rocky Mountain (25-12)

152 pounds: Lower bracketBROCK LABONDE, CHEROKEE TRAIL (37-9) vs. Hudson Cropp, Fort Collins (35-7)

182 pounds: Upper bracketJOE RENNER, GRANDVIEW (34-2) vs. Matt Kinerson, Rocky Mountain (36-5)

195 pounds: Lower bracket ANTONIO SANDORA, REGIS JESUIT (24-11) vs. Brock Schilling, ThunderRidge (33-7)

220 pounds: Upper bracketSAM HART, CHEROKEE TRAIL (35-0) vs. Elias Pineda, Northglenn (16-8)

285 pounds: Lower bracketJULIAN WILLIAMS, CHEROKEE TRAIL (29-5) vs. Ryan Aguiar, Douglas County (24-10); ALEX ANGELES, SMOKY HILL (21-6) vs. Diego Paredes, Thornton (30-7)

4A 182 pounds: Lower bracketISAAC RENAS, VISTA PEAK (32-8) vs. Antonio Welch-Soto, Broomfield (18-2)