WHEAT RIDGE | The Hinkley wrestling team continued a strong start to the season, winning the championship among 11 teams competing in the Frank Palmeri Invitational Saturday at Wheat Ridge High School.

Coach Terrance Goodroad’s Thunderbirds had a total of 11 wrestlers place in the top four of their respective weight classes as they racked up 158.5 points, good enough to finish in front of runner-up Thornton (150) for the team championship of the 33rd annual event.

It was nearly double the amount of points Hinkley scored the previous season (88), when it placed fifth in a field of roughly the same teams.

Leading the way for Hinkley was highly-regarded freshman Serj Chavez, who was the team’s lone champion when he won the 138-pound weight class. An 18-6 major decision victory over Wheat Ridge’s Billy Gieck — who was previously undefeated — in the final pushed Chavez to 6-2 on the season thus far. He posted two pins and two major decisions in the tournament.

Four other Thunderbirds wrestled for championships, but 106-pounder Ben Rhoton, 120-pounder Rafael Garibay, 145-pounder Trevor Moore and Isaiah Silva at 182 pounds each fell in title matches.

Hinkley wrestlers finished 1-5 in third-place matches, with senior 220-pounder Max Carbajal posting the lone victory.

Carbajal got pinned with just two seconds remaining in his semifinal match against Arvada’s Brock Howes — Carbajal’s first loss of the year — but rebounded to pin Palmer’s Josiah Black in the first period to place third.

Gideon Greer (113), Tairus Venable (126), Seth Nance (152), Tristan Harper (160) and Erik Kaminen (170) each got pinned in third-place matches.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or sports@aurorasentinel.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel


Team scores: 1. HINKLEY 158.5 points; 2. Thornton 150; 3. Lincoln 135; 4. Golden 126; 5. Palmer 115; 6. Montbello 76; 7. Wheat Ridge 75.50; 8. Steamboat Springs 71; 9. Summit 39; 10. Arvada 20; 11. Roosevelt 4

Aurora championship matches

106 pounds: Jacob Espinosa (Lincoln) pinned Ben Rhoton (Hinkley), 1:02; 120 pounds: Wendell Berry (Thornton) dec. Rafael Garibay (Hinkley), 5-2; 138 pounds: Sergio Chavez (Hinkley) maj. dec. Billy Gieck (Wheat Ridge), 18-6; 145 pounds: Seth Rosales (Lincoln) pinned Trevor Moore (Hinkley), 1:34; 182 pounds: Connor O’Brien (Steamboat Springs) dec. Isaiah Silva (Hinkley), 8-2

Aurora third-place matches

113 pounds: Jostyn Owens-Hailey (Palmer) pinned Gideon Greer (Hinkley), 1:34; 126 pounds: Jalen Montoya (Thornton) pinned Tairus Venable (Hinkley), 1:58; 152 pounds: Jacoby Garcia (Lincoln) pinned Seth Nance (Hinkley), 0:57; 160 pounds: Kevin Lopez (Lincoln) pinned Tristan Harper (Hinkley), 4:53; 170 pounds: Josh Cordova (Thornton) pinned Erik Kaminen (Hinkley), 0:46; 220 pounds: Max Carbajal (Hinkley) pinned Josiah Black (Palmer), 1:24

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...