ARVADA — Pomona sophomore Theorius Robison had enough in the tank Saturday night to do a backflip after winning the 132-pound title at the Arvada West Wrestling Invite.
“Wrestling can get emotional,” Pomona coach Sam Federico said about Robison’s match which was the highlight of the finals. “You try to keep things calm, but you never know. Sometimes it goes crazy. A finish like that is always exciting.”
Last year’s 126-pound 5A state champion and top ranked 132-pounder in Tim Yount’s On the Mat rankings let his emotions get away from him a little bit after defeating No. 2 ranked Grand Junction’s Dylan Martinez. However, Robison was clearly focused on the future moments after the come-from-behind victory.
“That was a big win, but I’ve got to just keep on getting ready for state. I know he (Martinez) is already working on stuff to get me back at state,” Robison said. “I’m trying to defend my title at state. I'll keep working hard, but that was a big win.”
Robison trailed 5-0 late in the second period. It appeared he scored a 1-point escape, 2-point takedown and 3-point near-fall in the final moments of the second period, but after the two officials talked it over the near-fall was ruled to have happened after time expired in the period.
Martinez led 7-6 with 8 seconds left in regulation time and with a restart in the neutral position. Robison made one last-ditch effort to take the victory. The sophomore was able to get a last-second takedown to grab a 8-7 victory.
“I kind of knew he was going to back up,” said Robison, who improved to 18-1 on the season. “I came in hard and it just happened the way it happened. That’s the way is was supposed to go.”
Robison was one of four Panthers to take home first-place titles at the annual A-West Invite. Sophomores Justin Pacheco (113) and Colton Yapoujian (120), along with seniors Jason Romero (160) and Brandon Micale (285) joined Robison on top of the podium at the end of the night.
“All in all we wrestled pretty good,” Federico said. “We still have some improvement to do like everyone else here. We are wrestling pretty good.”
The Panthers had seven wrestlers in the finals and captured the team title with 196.5 points. The top-ranked team in 5A faced a tough field with 5A’s No. 2 Grand Junction, No. 3 Grandview, No. 6 Castle View, No. 7 Coronado and No. 9 Adams City all at the tournament that has been called the “mini-state” in the past.
The Panthers weren’t completely at full strength. Pomona was missing its 106 and 145 pounders.
Pacheco won one of the deepest brackets in the tournament. Five of the top seven ranked 5A wrestlers at 113 pounds made it a tough road for everyone. The sophomore took a 4-0 decision over Coronado’s Steve Dabelko in the final.
Yapoujian could likely moved up to No. 1 at 120 after winning another competitive bracket. The sophomore pinned Jefferson’s Jimmy Ramirez III in the championship bout at the 59 second mark.
Romero, a two-time state runner-up, had a tough match against Grand Junction’s Jay Skalecki. The senior was able to take a 4-2 victory on his journey to hopefully that first state title.
“Going up to 160s for the first weekend was a little different,” Romero said. “I was a little banged up from the tournament we just came from, but I was able to finish strong.”
Pomona senior Brandon Micale wrapped up the tournament with a 6-3 victory over Castle View’s David Nuriyev in the heavyweight bout. Micale came in ranked No. 4 at 220, but wrestled in the heavyweight class on Saturday.
“He (Micale) is a strong kid, but you are having to push around some big kids,” said Federico, who added he might keep Micale at heavyweight for the rest of the season. “He is used to doing it in football, but it’s a little different in wrestling. We’ll see.”
The next tournament up for Pomona is the two-day Top of the Rockies Tournament at Centaurus High School this coming Friday and Saturday.
Arvada West Wrestling Invite results
Team scores (top 10)
Pomona 196.5, Grand Junction 165.5, Grandview 137.5, Adams City 107.5, Castle View 103.5, Coronado 91, Discovery Canyon 69, Jefferson 65, Arvada West 61, Mountain View 56
106- Malik Heinselman (Castle View) over Patrick Allis (Discovery Canyon), TF 21-5.
113- Justin Pacheco (Pomona) over Steve Dabelko (Coronado), 4-0.
120- Colton Yapoujian (Pomona) over Jimmy Ramirez III (Jefferson), fall :59.
126- Polo Garcia (Denver East) over Cody Fatzinger (Arvada West), injury default 1:54).
132- Theorius Robison (Pomona) over Dylan Martinez (Grand Junction), 8-7.
138- KJ Kearns (Coronado) over Joshua Boulton (Fort Collins), 7-0.
145- Josiah Rider (Grand Junction) over Erik Contreras (Mountain View), fall 2:37.
152- Gavin Deaguero (Adams City) over Xavier Herrera (Pomona), fall 3:14.
160- Jason Romero (Pomona) over Jay Skalecki (Grand Junction), 4-2.
170- Tate Samuelson (Castle View) over Seth Latham (Grand Junction), fall 3:34.
182- Jimmy Weaver (Coronado) over Uriah Vigil (Pomona), fall 6:24.
195- Robert Woods (Grandview) over Travis Gallagher (Castle View), 5-3.
220- Shawn Garcia (Grand Junction) over Oscar Lopez (Jefferson), fall 5:24.
285- Brandon Micale (Pomona) over David Nuriyev (Castle View), 6-3.