WESTMINSTER | With the chance to qualify for the Class 5A state wrestling tournament on the horizon, several of Aurora’s previous state qualifiers appear to be rounding into form for a return trip.
Hinkley sophomore 145-pounder Serj Chavez, Aurora Central senior 182-pounder Juan Fraire and Rangeview sophomore 220-pounder Max Gonzales — who all made it to the state tournament at Pepsi Center last season — all captured titles at Saturday’s EMAC Championships wrestling tournament at Westminster High School and set the tone for Feb. 13-14 regional competition.
Rangeview wrestlers collected six top-four places as the Raiders finished third in the team standings behind Brighton and Adams City with 113.5 points. Coach Tim Corby’s team also saw Dominic Wenger (113 pounds) and heavyweight Humberto Caloca make championship matches before falling.
Gonzales, a returning state qualifier who has rocketed up to the No. 3 spot in On The Mat’s 5A rankings at 220 pounds, pinned Northglenn’s Cruz De Lara in 3:24 to win the league title. With just six wrestlers total in the bracket, Gonzales wrestled just twice, pinning Brighton’s Tomas Sanchez in the first period in the semifinals before topping De Lara to up his season record to 34-4.
Wenger won his first two matches by pin — including a victory over Aurora Central’s Quincy Moreno, who beat him earlier this season — to face off with eighth-ranked Fabian Gutierrez of Adams City for the league title. He lost by fall in the second period, however.
Among just three heavyweights, Caloca needed just one win to reach the final and lost a 1-0 decision to Brighton’s Drew Petit, who had a bye all the way into the championship match.
Junior Kipp Corby won the third-place match at 138 pounds, while Deron Solomon (145 pounds) and Ryan Mercure (152 pounds) each finished fourth.
Aurora Central also had three finalists and five top-four places to finish sixth with 91 points.
Fraire won the Trojans’ only league championship with three straight pins, the last coming against Prairie View’s Elmer Baca in the second period of the 182-pound final. Fraire, who is in his first season at Aurora Central after coming over from Sedgewick County, is now 28-5 and ranked No. 6 by On The Mat.
Junior Jose Millan dropped an 11-9 overtime decision to Adrian Kois of Thornton in the championship match at 152 pounds, where Kois is ranked No. 18 and Millan No. 19. Sophomore Jonnathan Quijada, a returning 5A state qualifier, lost a 7-1 decision to fourth-ranked Rocky Nava of Northglenn with the 126-pound crown on the line.
The unranked Moreno rebounded from his loss to Wenger to win a 2-1 decision over No. 12 Nick Gonzales of Brighton in the 113-pounder third-place match and Jonathan Arias finished fourth at 170 pounds.
The championship of Chavez, who wrestled most of the season at 138 pounds before settling in at 145s, led the way among two placers for ninth-place Hinkley.
Ranked No. 9 at 138 pounds by On The Mat, Chavez prevailed with a 6-4 decision over Antonio Deaguero of Adams City, who sits No. 13 in the 145-pounder rankings. Chavez posted wins over two other Aurora wrestlers — Aurora Central’s Jonathan Ramos and Rangeview’s Solomon to reach the final and now sits 31-4 on the season.
Ben Rhoton, ranked No. 11 at 106 pounds, rebounded from a semifinal loss to No. 6 Rudy Sanchez of Adams City to defeat No. 14 Johnny Sanchez of Brighton 5-2 in the third-place match.
Gateway’s lone placer was junior Charles Reigies, who took fourth at 160 pounds. Reigies lost to eventual champion Jeremiah Ellerd of Brighton in the semifinals, then dropped a 4-2 decision to Thornton’s Vladimir Munoz in the third-place match.
Aurora Central and Gateway head to the same regional — Region 2 at Smoky Hill High School — Feb. 13-14, while Hinkley is headed to Region 1 at Legacy High School and Rangeview is set for Region 4 at Doherty High School in Colorado Springs.
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 EMAC WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Team scores: 1. Brighton 198 points; 2. Adams City 192.5; 3. RANGEVIEW 113.5; 4. Northglenn 104.5; 5. Prairie View 92.5; 6. AURORA CENTRAL 91; 7. Thornton 87; 8. Westminster 57; 9. HINKLEY 43.5; 10. GATEWAY 18
Full EMAC championship and third-place match results, here.
Aurora championship matches
113 pounds: Fabian Gutierrez (Adams City) pinned DOMINIC WENGER (RANGEVIEW), 2:52
126 pounds: Rocky Nava (Northglenn) dec. JONNATHAN QUIJADA (AURORA CENTRAL), 7-1
145 pounds: SERJ CHAVEZ (HINKLEY) dec. Antonio Deaguero (Adams City), 6-4
152 pounds: Adrian Kois (Thornton) dec. JOSE MILLAN (AURORA CENTRAL), 11-9 (OT)
182 pounds: JUAN FRAIRE (AURORA CENTRAL) pinned Elmer Baca (Prairie View), 3:29
220 pounds: MAX GONZALES (RANGEVIEW) pinned Cruz De Lara (Northglenn), 3:24
285 pounds: Drew Petit (Brighton) dec. HUMBERTO CALOCA (RANGEVIEW), 1-0
Aurora third-place matches
106 pounds: BEN RHOTON (HINKLEY) dec. Johnny Sanchez (Brighton), 5-2
113 pounds: QUINCY MORENO (AURORA CENTRAL) dec. Nicholas Gonzales (Brighton), 2-1
138 pounds: KIPP CORBY (RANGEVIEW) pinned Alika Kealoha (Thornton), 2:11
145 pounds: Brandon McKain-Miller (Westminster) won by forfeit over DERON SOLOMON (RANGEVIEW)
152 pounds: Levi Martin (Brighton) dec. RYAN MERCURE (RANGEVIEW), 10-4
160 pounds: Vladimir Munoz (Thornton) dec. CHARLES REIGIES (GATEWAY), 4-2
170 pounds: Ian Helwick (Brighton) maj. dec. JONATHAN ARIAS (AURORA CENTRAL), 8-0