DENVER | The margin for error to place at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament is always razor thin and Grandview’s Josh Vigil-Harrison came out on the right side twice on Saturday.
The Wolves’ junior left the Pepsi Center after three days of wrestling with a third place medal at 285 pounds — which matched Rangeview sophomore 220-pounder Max Gonzales for highest among Aurora’s five placers — but there very nearly wasn’t a podium spot at all.
Vigil-Harrison needed a reversal in the closing seconds of a third round consolation match for a one-point win that earned him admission into the placing round, where he pinned both of his opponents. The one that got him third place was the least likely for Vigil-Harrison, who was on his back under opponent Clayton Voytilla of Poudre before turning the tables to pin Voytilla.
The third-place result bettered the sixth place Vigil-Harrison took as a freshman in 2013.
Senior teammate Seth Brown — who missed state last season due to injury after earning a spot — won his first two matches to reach the semifinals, but ended up in sixth place for coach Ryan Budd, who had two placers in his first season as Grandview coach.
On The Mat’s pre-state projections correctly picked Brown to take sixth and it also had Gonzales finishing third at 220 pounds. In his second straight appearance, Gonzales’ only loss to eventual champion and undefeated Devin Rothrock of Arvada West in the semifinals.
Gonzales also had a close call on his way to the medal podium, as he needed a takedown in the final seconds of his consolation match with Mountain Range’s Brandon Forney to move into the third-place match.
He had little trouble with opponent Charles Dunkelman of Loveland, as Gonzales wrapped up his legs, drove him to the mat and finished with a pin early in the second period. Gonzales finished the season 41-4 overall.
Regis Jesuit’s Logan Ronan placed fourth at 152 pounds as he finished on the medal podium for the second time in two state trips.
Adams City’s Jozef McClure dealt Ronan a 3-2 loss in the third-place match, the same score by which he fell to Pine Creek’s Chris Cos in last season’s third-place match at 145 pounds.
Aurora Central’s Juan Fraire — who placed third at 160 pounds in 2A last season while with Sedgwick County/Fleming — won his first two matches to reach the 182-pound semis in debut in the 5A tournament, only to lose by two points to Mountain Vista’s Trenton Schultz.
Fraire then dropped a 5-4 decision to Legacy’s Matt Hebel to drop into the fifth-place match, where Pomona’s Cameron Gonzales found a way to pin him in the second period.
Hinkley’s Rafael Garibay (120 pounds), Regis Jesuit’s Donovan Ronan (145 pounds) Eaglecrest’s Jake Dugan (152 pounds), Rangeeview’s Sam Maes (160 pounds) and Cherokee Trail’s Zeke Silva (170 pounds) came up on win short of the placing round.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2015 CLASS 5A STATE WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
Final team scores: 1. Arvada West 163.5 points; 2. Pomona 153.5; 3. Grand Junction 113; 4. Pine Creek 87.5; 5. Rocky Mountain 71; 6. Fruita 60; 7. Cherry Creek 54; 8. Chaparral 52.5; 9. Ponderosa 52; 10. Legacy 51; 11. Mountain Range 48; 12. Coronado 44.5; 13. Adams City 42.5; 14. Northglenn 39; 15. Poudre 36; 16. Ralston Valley 32.5; 17. Central G.J. 32; 18. ThunderRidge 28; T19. GRANDVIEW 27; T19. Douglas County 27; 21. Mountain Vista 23; 22. Loveland 19; T23. RANGEVIEW 18; T23. REGIS JESUIT 18; T23. Horizon 18; 26. Doherty 17; T27. Lakewood 16; T27. Legend 16; 29. Broomfield 15; T30. Lincoln 14; T30. Monarch 14; T32. Arapahoe 13; T32. Liberty 13; 34. Centaurus 12; 35. Castle View 10; T36. AURORA CENTRAL 9; T36. Denver East 9; T38. Brighton 8; T38. Greeley West 8; T40. EAGLECREST 7; T40. Heritage 7; 42. HINKLEY 5; T43 CHEROKEE TRAIL 4; T43. Palmer 4; T43. Thornton 4; T46. Fairview 4; T46. Fort Collins 4; T46. Prairie View 3; 49. George Washington 2; GATEWAY, SMOKY HILL, Boulder, Chatfield, Fountain-Fort Carson, Rampart and Rock Canyon no score
Aurora third-place matches
152 pounds: Jozef McClure, Adams City, dec. LOGAN RONAN, REGIS JESUIT, 3-2
220 pounds: MAX GONZALES, RANGEVIEW, pinned Charles Dunkelman, Loveland, 2:27
285 pounds: JOSH VIGIL-HARRISON, GRANDVIEW, pinned Clayton Voytilla, Fruita, 2:44
Aurora fifth-place matches
145 pounds: AJ Curtis, Cherry Creek, dec. SETH BROWN, GRANDVIEW, 4-1
182 pounds: Cameron Gonzales, Pomona, pinned JUAN FRAIRE, AURORA CENTRAL, 2:38