4A state wrestling: Windsor captures team championship behind four-time performances

(Dan Morhmann/CHSAANow.com)

DENVER – Saying Windsor’s wrestling team illustrated perfection in the Class 4A state wrestling championship on Saturday isn’t hyperbole – it’s a fact.  

The Wizards finished five for five in their finals matches at the Pepsi Center and won their second title in three years with 190 points. It’s the Wizards fourth title in school history and first since 2018.

Windsor also crowned a pair of four-time state champions in 132-pounder Dominick Serrano (43-0), who never lost a high school match, and 182-pounder Isaiah Salazar (37-0).

“This was an incredible team who had an incredible performance and I couldn’t be more proud of the entire group,” said Wizards coach Monte Trusty. “This was possible because of staff, administration and our awesome fans.”

Pueblo East, last year’s state champion, finished as runners-up to the Wizards with 149.5 points and battled with the Wizards until the semifinals.

The Wizards held a 78.5-70 lead over the Eagles when three key victories at 132, 138 and 170 buoyed Windsor to a comfortable lead.

“We were going after those wins no matter who they were against,” Trusty said. “It just happened to be our major competition, so it ended up pretty nice for us.”

Junior Vance VomBauer (138 pounds, 40-2) capped a miraculous return after missing state following a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee in 2019.

VomBauer finished as a runner-up his freshman year and redeemed himself with a pin at 1:03 in the first period against Longmont’s John Nicholas.

 “I came up short my freshman year and I never wanted to feel that again,” VomBauer said. “To finally get one and get what I thought I deserved is amazing. Our fans were amazing and this feels so good.”

Senior Cody Eaton (160, 34-4) earned another pin for the Wizards with 16 seconds left in the second period against Thompson Valley’s Chase Engelhardt, which marked the Wizards’ third title of the night.

For Eaton, the win represented the culmination of climbing the metaphorical ladder – his freshman year, Eaton missed state.

“My freshman year, I was winning in the blood round 13-0,” Eaton said. “I took a double and I passed out.”

His sophomore year, he placed third and Eaton finished second his junior year. This season he pinned his way through regionals and state to earn the title.

“Those nights I spent an hour at 1 a.m. running stairs at my house were worth it,” Eaton said. “All my hard work paid off and I’m so grateful.”

Tristan Perez (170, 28-8) won his first title with a 5-1 decision over Loveland’s Marcelo Espinoza Diaz and gave Windsor their fourth title of the night. Salazar’s win made it five for the Wizards.

Pueblo East also crowned a four-time champion in heavyweight Andy Garcia (33-3), who is the school’s lone four-time champion.

Fellow Eagles wrestler and freshman Weston Dalton (120, 34-4) capped a stellar season with a pin with 16 seconds left in the second period against Pueblo County’s Boden White.

Dalton’s only loss of 2020 came Feb. 1 at the Rocky Welton invitational. To end the night with a four-time champ and start with a stout freshman excited Eagles coach Pat Laughlin.

“It’s been a privilege for me to coach a four-timer who is also a great man and I’m fortunate to have a kid of his status,” Laughlin said. “Having guys like Weston and Andy just speaks to our staff and our team as a whole. Weston is a working machine and right now the focus is next year. We take it period by period, match by match and season by season. (Weston) has all the tools to make it four. I’ll leave it at that.”