The gauntlet was thrown down Jan. 22.
Just a few days before their showdown at the Aurora Public Schools Championship meet, Gateway and Rangeview battled to the last touch in an EMAC dual meet at Gateway High School.
A last-minute switch of anchor legs helped the Olys take 1st and 2nd place in the meet-ending 400-yard freestyle relay, which gave coach Dan Ambruso’s team just enough points to rally past the Raiders for a thrilling 93-90 victory.
Senior Barbara Barocio — who was switched from Gateway’s A relay to the B unit that eventually earned the victory — and sophomore Christina Horstman won two events each and freshman Jessica Mitchell took diving for the Olys, who also won two relays.
Junior Mariah Franklin and freshman Jordan Groeschel took first place in two events each and comprised half of the winning 200 freestyle relay team for the Raiders, who saw a seven-point lead disappear in the final event. Rangeview also took the 200 freestyle relay.
• The Regis Jesuit girls basketball team finished a two-game stint at the Classic in the Country in Berlin, Ohio, with a 69-40 victory over Canton McKinley on Jan. 21. Justine Hall had 23 points, Jordyn Molyneaux had 13 and Diani Akigbogun nine for the Raiders, who bounced back from their first loss of the season two days earlier, a 43-35 loss to Fairmount (Ohio).
• Olympic swimming star and Regis Jesuit senior Missy Franklin finished USA Swimming’s Austin Grand Prix event with a total of four gold medals over three days.
Swimming on the campus of the University of Texas, Franklin won the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes and the 100- and 200-meter freestyles as well. She was denied a fifth gold when Karlee Bispo clipped her by 0.08 of a second in the 200 individual medley.
The third stop on the six-event Grand Prix schedule is Feb. 14-16 in Orlando, Fla., a week after Franklin is scheduled to compete in the Class 5A girls state swim meet.
• The Grandview wrestling team placed 14th out of 15 teams at the rugged Arvada West Invitational with 37 points on Jan. 19.
The Wolves’ lone placer was senior Jordan Brown, who came in fourth at 160 pounds after dropping a 5-1 decision to Legacy’s Colton Casaday.
Brown — whose other loss came to eventual champion Archie Colgan of Pomona in the semifinals — is now 20-7.
• The Eaglecrest wrestling team finished 2nd at the Alameda Invitational, as two champions and six placers in all helped the Raptors to 169.5 points, second only to Montrose (190).
Adin Puris (23-6) at 170 pounds and heavyweight Mike Howshar (21-4) both won championships, while Andrew George (126), Jake Dugan (132) and Ace Ellison (145) all were runners-up.
Devante Deshwanden claimed 4th at 138 pounds.
Hinkley had 81 points for ninth in the 21-team field. The Thunderbirds had a finalist in 182-pounder Isaiah Silva, who finished 2nd despite a 7-14 record coming into the tournament.
Mike Brungardt (120) and Max Carbajal (195) were 4th.
• Twelve Cherokee Trail wrestlers placed in the top two and the Cougars cruised to the championship at the small 2013 Mullen Invitational Jan. 19.
Nine wrestlers won their weight classes for Cherokee Trail, which racked up 147 points to capture the team championship of the four-team tournament. Smoky Hill had two champions and placed 3rd.
Lizandro Hernandez (113 pounds), Bruno Nicoletti (132), Harley Korte (152 A), Michael Thelen (152 B), Jalen Reyes (160), Diego Rogel Avelar (170), Trent Rogers (182), Alex Alarcon (195) and Garrett Zimmerman (285) all won championships for the Cougars, while the Buffaloes were paced by winners Dan Kasberg (120) and Dexter Bess (220).
• Gateway’s small, but talented, wrestling team continued its success at the Alamosa Invitational on Jan. 19. The Olys were rewarded for their long trek with two championships — from senior Josh Butler at 138 pounds and freshman Deyaun Trueblood at 145s, who each went 3-0 — plus third-place results from seniors Sergio Marquez (113) and Abdelaziz BenQadi (152).
• A double-overtime boys basketball classic took place Jan. 16 at Grandview, as the Wolves outlasted rival Cherokee Trail 84-77.
Eric Garcia sent the game into overtime with 3-pointer and had 27 to lead Grandview, which also got 20 points from Akram Imam, 17 from Tanner Gentry and 10 from Branden Cosby-Lee.
Drick Bernstine had a game-high 31 points, including a massive one-handed dunk in the fourth quarter, while RJ Perry added 11, Jay Nelson 10 and Kennedy Littleton nine for Cherokee Trail.
The Cougars twice couldn’t cash in the final possession for the winning basket and saw the Wolves outscore them 17-7 in the second four-minute overtime.
• Rangeview collected the Aurora Public Schools wrestling championship on Jan. 16, beating all three of its district rivals at Hinkley High School.
The Raiders edged Gateway 34-33, then got past Hinkley 36-29 and rolled over Aurora Central 51-28 to take the title in the four-team dual meet.
Junior 182-pounder Sean O’Keefe pinned all three of his opponents for Rangeview, including Aurora Central’s Trayvone Crosby, who won the Rangeview Raider Classic a few days earlier.
Hinkley finished second in the standings, followed by Gateway and Aurora Central.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555