Josh Flanagan watched a few years ago as his brother made history at the state wrestling tournament. Macoy, a senior in 2016, tied the state record by winning 51 matches in a senior year as Valley won its second-straight team title.
Now, Josh is looking to do something that even his record-setting brother didn't pull off in his career.
Josh is going for his second state championship. He won the 170-pound title last year and as the state tournament kicked-off on Thursday, began his quest to go back-to-back. If there's any pressure, though, it's all self-inflicted.
"I put a little bit of pressure on (myself) because people put a lot of pressure on me," Flanagan said. "I know that I can do it again, so they expect me to do it again."
A victory by pin over Del Norte's Ruben Agosto in the first round has the younger Flanagan on track to have some bragging rights over big brother.
"I would say being a two-time state champ is a little better than having an undefeated record and going 51-0," Josh said. "I kind of wanted to try that this year but fell a little short. I'm not sure how he did it. I think that winning two would be a little better than that but he's a great wrestler."
Flanagan is set to face Lamar's Lucas Tinnes in the quarterfinals Friday morning.
- Conifer freshman Cayden Condit, the lone female qualifier at this year's state tournament, was pinned in her first-round match by Alameda freshman Davion Chavez in 1:24. Condit will face The Classical Academy junior Brendan Johnston in the consolation bracket on Friday.
- Wray leads the 2A team race with 40 points after prelims. Cedaredge (32 points) sits in second, with Rocky Ford (30.5) third. Paonia is fourth with 23 points, and Fowler (18) is fifth.
- Eaton is on top of the 3A team race through the first round, leading with 31 points. Berthoud and Lamar are tied for second with 24 points each. Pagosa Springs (22 points) and Alamosa (21.5) are also firmly in the hunt for the team title.
- In 3A's 106-pound bracket, Trinidad's Alberto Felthager knocked off the top seed, Santana Hernandez of Weld Central, with a 5-3 decision in the first round. Felthager placed fourth in his region last weekend.
- Lyons' Keegan Bean pinned Ellicott's Matthew Brant in 26 seconds. He's the defending champ in 2A 182. That was the fastest pin of the 2A/3A prelims.
- Rocky Ford's Greg Garcia matched Bean's fastest pin with a takedown of Highland's Micheal Johnson at 2A 285 in 26 seconds.
- Each of the returning champions in 2A (there are four) and 3A (where there are three) advanced to their quarterfinals.
- Likewise, the two unbeaten wrestlers in 2A are onto the quarters, and three three unbeatens in 3A also advanced.
- The 2A and 3A tournaments continue on Friday with the quarterfinals and first-round consolation matches at 9:30 a.m. The semifinals (7 p.m.) and second-round consolation (5:30 p.m.) matches are on Friday evening.