AURORA | Senior Night for the Vista PEAK wrestling team proved more special than just honoring 11 seniors.
The Bison also had business to attend to Thursday night against visiting Rangeview, as the Aurora Public Schools dual championship title went to the victor.
After considerable drama in the early going — including a ranked battle between the Bison’s Tony Lozano and the Raiders’ Bryan Fierro — the match came to a heated end with three straight forfeits, the last of which went Vista PEAK 195-pounder Jayden Smith that lifted the Bison to a 39-36 victory.
“We got it done, finally,” said Vista PEAK coach David Benedict, whose team saw the Ray Maguire trophy — given to the top APS dual team — slip away by a single point last season.
“There was a little bit of a gamesmanship and some chess matches going on the whole night.”
The Bison prevailed with a mix of wins by pin in the first period from seniors Tristan Curtis (138 pounds) and Drake Jackson (152), Lozano’s one-point win over Fierro and forfeits to Smith and fellow senior Dechlyn Miller (220), sophomore Isaac Renas (170) and freshman Tyler Jones (145).
Lozano wrestled most of the season at 126 pounds and Fierro had been at 120 for most of the season, but they ended up matched against each other in the 126-pound match.
It wasn’t what Benedict had expected in terms of how the lineup fell, but the match that ensued was outstanding and ended with Lozano on the right side of a 5-4 decision.
“Tony has a habit of those big matches he’s wrestled all and then gives up something at the end to lose,” Bendict said. “All year he’s been struggling to find his groove, but that was awesome.”
Rangeview coach Tim Corby came in shorthanded due to injuries and illnesses and had to give away four weights.
Of the nine matches that were contested, however, the Raiders won seven of them, including wins by fall from 285-pounder Kameron Reed, Raymond Cortez at 113 pounds and Johnnie Fisher at 160 pounds in addition to Joseph Nuttal (106), Tyler Cella (120) and Romeo Cortez winning decisions.
Fisher’s pin of Vista PEAK senior Jace Arno put Rangeview in front 30-27 late, but two forfeits in the final three matches — sandwiched around Matthew Shriver’s win by forfeit at 182 pounds — produced the final result.
Benedict, whose team improved to 8-4 in dual matches, kept senior Alex Moten out due to injury when he figured the result would be secure.
The match was contested in front of a big crowd that walked away mostly satisfied.
“It was a great atmosphere, we had all these people here,” Benedict said. “We have 11 seniors with Connor (Ireland) hurt, so that’s quite a loss for the program this year. They are leaving quite a legacy, though.”
Vista PEAK heads to the Les Mattocks Invitational at Abraham Lincoln High School on Saturday and finishes up dual matches at Valor Christian Feb. 1.
Rangeview has a trip to the Thornton Invitational scheduled for Saturday.
The Bison and Raiders will run into each other again at the EMAC Championship meet at Brighton Feb. 3.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or email@example.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
VISTA PEAK 39, RANGEVIEW 36
220 pounds: Dechlyn Miller (Vista PEAK) won by forfeit; 285 pounds: Kameron Reed (Rangeview) pinned Cole Bornhoft (Vista PEAK), 3:46; 106 pounds: Joseph Nuttal (Rangeview) dec. Karstin Wells (Vista PEAK), 7-0; 113 pounds: Raymond Cortez (Rangeview) pinned Elisa Abeyta (Vista PEAK), 1:13; 120 pounds: Tyler Cella (Rangeview) pinned Isaiah Cabello (Vista PEAK), 4:47; 126 pounds: Tony Lozano (Vista PEAK) dec. Bryan Fierro (Rangeview), 5-4; 132 pounds: Romeo Cortez (Rangeview) dec. Kameron DiPentino (Vista PEAK), 11-5; 138 pounds: Tristan Curtis (Vista PEAK) pinned Sean Hackworth (Rangeview), 0:49; 145 pounds: Tyler Jones (Vista PEAK) won by forfeit; 152 pounds: Drake Jackson (Vista PEAK) pinned Kylee Tafoya (Rangeview), 0:43; 160 pounds: Johnnie Fisher (Rangeview) pinned Jace Arno (Vista PEAK), 3:57; 170 pounds: Isaac Renas (Vista PEAK) won by forfeit; 182 pounds: Matthew Shriver (Rangeview) won by forfeit; 195 pounds: Jayden Smith (Vista PEAK) won by forfeit