LITTLETON | More than a handful of wrestlers from Aurora teams earned their way through the Region 2 tournament Friday and Saturday at Chatfield High School to gain admission to the last girls state wrestling tournament prior to official sanctioning.
Eaglecrest and Vista PEAK tied for fifth place in the 32-team field and combined for five qualifiers for the Feb. 7-8 state tournament at Thornton High School, while Cherokee Trail and Lotus finished within a point of each other in the middle of the standings and one individual qualifier apiece.
The top five placers in each of 10 weight classes at each of the three regionals — including Region 1 at Fort Lupton and Region 3 at Douglas County — moved on to the state tournament.
For the Sentinel‘s feature on the explosion of girls wrestling this year, click here.
Both of Eaglecrest’s state qualifiers, sophomore Savannah Smith and freshman Blythe Cayko, were runners-up in their respective weight classes.
Smith won a head-to-head Aurora matchup with Vista PEAK’s Elisa Abeyta in the semifinals with a pin in the third period, then found herself losing by fall to Delta’s Nicole Koch just 13 seconds into the championship match. Smith is 19-13 going into the state tournament.
Cayko (10-4) worked her way into the final with a pair of pins following a first round bye and then advanced to the state tournament despite falling to Olathe’s Norma Alejandra in the second period of the title match.
Freshman Kodi Dolan placed sixth for coach Sparky Adair’s Raptors, but did not advance to the state tournament at 147 pounds.
Abeyta will make her third trip to the girls state tournament in four seasons for Vista PEAK and the 2018 state champion got there again with a third-place finish at 118 pounds. Abeyta (22-8) finished 4-1 at regionals with all four of her victories coming by pins in the first period.
Tim Corby’s Bison have two first-time state qualifiers as well in junior Ashley Jaramillo at 147 pounds and freshman Leilani Camaal at 161 pounds.
Camaal went the long way on her way to a third-place finish as she lost her opening match to Cherokee Trail freshman Amaya Green, then won three straight matches — including a win by fall in a rematch with Green in the third-place match to improve to 9-9.
Jaramillo (22-10) wrestled in regionals for a second straight season and won her first two matches by fall before she was pinned in the semifinals. She then dropped a 1-0 decision on the back side of the bracket, but won by fall over Dolan just 25 seconds into the fifth-place match to grab the final state position at 147 pounds.
Lotus senior Salem Scobee finished as the 105-pound runner-up as she recorded a pair of pins to reach the championship match, where she was stopped by Chatfield freshman phenom Janessa George, who improved to 33-1 on the season with a 27-12 win by technical fall.
Scobee enters the state tournament with a 19-6 record.
Green placed fourth at 161 pounds for Cherokee Trail, as she lost to eventual champion Isabel Garcia of Chatfield in the semifinals, then got a pin on the back side before she lost by fall to Caamal in the third-place match. Green is 13-10 ahead of state.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
GIRLS REGION 2 WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2020, at Chatfield H.S.
Team scores: 1. Chatfield 123.5 points; T2. Denver East 91; T2. Mountain Vista 91; 4. Jefferson 76; T5. EAGLECREST 61; T5. VISTA PEAK 61; 7. Montrose 54; 8. Thomas Jefferson 42; 9. John F. Kennedy 39; 10. Golden 34; 11. Pomona 33; 12. Arapahoe 32; 13. Central (G.J.) 31; T14. Delta 30; T14. Olathe 30; 16. Mullen 29; 17. Soroco 24; T18. LOTUS 22; T18. Platte Canyon 22; 20. Denver South 21; T21. CHEROKEE TRAIL 21; T21. Nucla 20; 23. Steamboat Springs 16; 24. Arvada West 14; 25. Grand Valley 13; 26. Heritage 9; T27. OVERLAND 7; T27. Denver North 7; T30. REGIS JESUIT 3; T30. Denver West 3; T30. Far Northeast 3; T30. George Washington 3
Aurora placers by school
Cherokee Trail: 161 pounds — Amaya Green, 4th
Eaglecrest: 118 pounds — Savannah Smith, runner-up; 147 pounds — Kodi Dolan, 6th; 185 pounds — Blythe Cayko, runner-up
Lotus: 105 pounds — Salem Scobee, runner-up
Vista PEAK: 118 pounds — Elisa Abeyta, 3rd; 147 pounds — Ashley Jaramillo, 5th; 161 pounds — Leilani Camaal, 3rd