Conifer's Cayden Condit takes aim at becoming state wrestling's first female placer

Cayden Condit Conifer wrestling

(Jack Eberhard/

There is no mistaking her goal. Cayden Condit wants to become the first female wrestler to ever place at the state tournament.

And Condit, a freshman at Conifer, is off to a blazing start in her quest to do so.

"This is years in the making," said Dustin Condit, Cayden's father.

Condit picked up wrestling at the age of four. Dustin Condit is a youth and high school wrestling coach. Cayden's older brother, Zander, also started wrestling young. So Cayden often found herself in a wrestling room.

"The first year. she was just sitting on the side watching for a little while, and I was like, 'Well, you might as well be out here, too,'" said Dustin Condit, who is also a volunteer assistant coach for Conifer.

She entered her first tournament when she was 5.

"When she was little, she beat up a lot of little boys, and it was fun, so we stuck with it," Dustin Condit said.

Cayden Condit Conifer wrestling

(Jack Eberhard/

Said Cayden Condit: "This is the only sport I've ever done. It's just part of my life now. ... I like that you have to work towards it. It's not just given to you (in wrestling). The more you put in, the more you get out."

She's had all kinds of success ever since. Recently, that includes championships at girls nationals in freestyle, and placing in boys brackets for both Greco and freestyle.

That success has continued into her first high school season, where she wrestles in the 106-pound division for Conifer.

Condit opened the year by going 6-0 in dual meets, including three pins, a tech fall, and two forfeits.

She placed fourth in her first tournament, at the Columbine Invitational in early December, and then tackled one of the toughest events of the regular season: The annual Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament in Loveland.

Condit went 4-2 in the 106-pound bracket which featured 45 entrants. She pinned three opponents during her run, but fell two matches short of placing.

"It was a really good preparation for state, because it's like a mini-state," Condit said of the tournament. "It was good to kind of see what I'm going to go up against, what kids are at my weight, and what I do need to do.

"In a few of those matches, I made some silly mistakes that I need to correct before state."

After the winter break, Condit placed third at the Mullen Invite, pinning three opponents. Following two more wins on Wednesday in a triangular meet with Alameda and Standley Lake, she's now 17-5 this season. Her 17 wins are the most of any female wrestler in the state in 2017-18, according to

Based upon this, Tim Yount of On The Mat has ranked Condit 10th in 3A's 106-pound division. She is the only girl that is ranked at this point. The top six finishers will place at the state tournament.

The history of female wrestlers at state is a deep one. The tournament has had at least one girl qualify every year since 2009.

Cayden Condit Conifer wrestling

(Jack Eberhard/

Yet, of the 13 times a girl has qualified, only two have won a first-round match. Grand Valley's Cody Pfau came the closet to placing when she became the first girl to win two matches at state, but Pfau lost in the consolation quarterfinals — one match away from the podium.

The challenge she'll face is clear to Condit.

"I'm trying to be the first girl to place, and possibly win, at state," she said. "It's very difficult, I have learned that. For a few matches I have gone against the kids that I will go against at state, and it's helped me prepare for what I will see there. Because there's going to be some juniors and seniors who cut down more who are really strong.

"I realize wrestling guys at an older age, they're a lot stronger than me," she added. "So I have to work more on my speed and my technique, more than just trying to overpower them, because that's not going to happen."

Condit will have plenty of experience around her to help in her quest. In addition to her father on the Conifer staff, first-year Lobos head coach Trenton Watson was an assistant at Arvada West, and is a former two-time state champion at Pine Creek and Coronado.

And Zander Condit, her older brother, placed sixth at 3A 126 last season. Zander is now ranked No. 2 in 3A 132 this season by On The Mat — it's likely that they're the only brother/sister pair ranked this season.

Each of them has faith in Cayden as she chases the podium.

"She's very goal-oriented, and she seems very focused this year," Dustin Condit said.

"She definitely has the capability and the potential to do it," Watson said. "I wrestled in Colorado high school when a couple of the good girls were coming up, and she's just as good, if not better, than those girls who were pretty close (to placing)."

Cayden Condit Conifer wrestling

(Jack Eberhard/